News Release 066

Department of Natural Resources is investigating two wastewater releases in southwest Missouri

Volume 38-066
(For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer
573-751-3807

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., FEB. 10, 2010 -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources dispatched investigators to a pair of wastewater overflows in southwest Missouri this afternoon.

Shortly before 4 p.m., an official with the city of Mansfield reported the release of approximately 8,500 gallons of partially treated wastewater. Officials reported the system was overcome by Stormwater while the operator of the facility was draining the system's Stormwater clarifier into the wastewater system.

The released wastewater flowed into an unnamed tributary of Fry Creek and then into Wolf Creek. An investigator from the department's Southwest Regional Office in Springfield was dispatched to the scene.

Shortly after 3 p.m., the department received a report of approximately 3,000 to 4,000 gallons of wastewater being released from a broken sewer line in Taney County.

A contractor reportedly broke a line carrying sewage to the Edgewater Beach Resort Wastewater Treatment Facility, allowing the untreated waste to enter Lake Taneycomo. At this time the pumps have been shut off to stop additional sewage from reaching the lake.

A staff member from the Southwest Regional Office was also sent to investigate the release.

The department considers discharges of wastewater from sanitary sewer collection systems to be threats to public health and the environment. Such discharges can contaminate lakes and streams, causing serious water quality problems.

Sanitary sewer overflows can be caused by obstructions in sewer lines, such as in the most recent cases, mechanical failure, infiltration of rainwater and snow melt into aging systems or undersized systems that cannot compensation for sudden increases in wastewater.

Communities across Missouri produce millions of gallons of wastewater that must be properly transported and treated before being released to waterways. However, some communities are facing challenges in accomplishing this.

In order to protect public health and the environment, the department requires communities to take appropriate action to eliminate their sanitary sewer overflow issues. To do this, communities should develop a system to track information about such incidents, 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 system upgrades.

For more information on sanitary sewer overflows or other water quality issues, contact the Department of Natural Resources' Water Protection Program at 573-751-1300 or 800-361-4827 or visit the department website at www.dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp.

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 dnr.mo.gov.

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