News Release 018

Clogged sewer line results in Boone County wastewater overflow

Volume 38-018 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., JAN. 15, 2010 -- A clogged sewer line resulted in the release of approximately 2,000 gallons of untreated wastewater into an unnamed tributary to Hominy Creek and Waters Edge Lake today in Boone County, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

An official of the Boone County Sewer District reported the release to the department's Northeast Regional Office this afternoon.  It was reported that a clog in a sewer line resulted in untreated wastewater backing up and overflowing from a cleanout in a private sewer line at a home in the 2200 block of Lake of the Woods Road.

The wastewater collected about 100 feet from the point of the overflow in an unnamed tributary of Hominy Creek. According to the sewer district, crews removed the clog and then began pumping the wastewater back into the sewer system this afternoon.

Investigators from the department's Northeast Regional Office in Macon were dispatched to the scene to determine what environmental damage may have been caused by the overflow.

The release of untreated sewage from sewer systems, known as sanitary sewer overflows, or SSOs, are a significant threat to public health and the environment.  SSOs occur for several reasons. As in this case sewer lines can become blocked, causing sewage to backup and overflow the system.

In other cases, as sewer systems age they develop openings where excessive rainfall or snowmelt can enter and cause the water and sewage to exceed the sewer's capacity.  In either case such overflows can contaminate lakes and streams, causing serious water quality problems.

In order to protect public health and the environment, the department requires communities to take appropriate action to eliminate their SSO issues.  To do this, DNR recommends that communities develop a system to track information about overflows, including the date, time, location and size of the overflow, weather data, who notified them, when they notified the department and the measures taken to respond.   The community can then use this data to aid in developing a plan to inspect the collection system and plan and finance upgrades to the system to reduce SSOs.

To report an environmental emergency, including sewage overflows, please contact the DNR spill line at 573-634-2436. For more information contact the department at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-3443, or visit the department's Web page at