News Release 088

Sewer line blockage results in Kansas City wastewater release

Volume 38-088 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer
573-751-3807

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., MARCH 3, 2010 -- A blocked sewer line in the 7800 block of East 40 Highway in Kansas City Tuesday resulted in the release of 12,000 gallons of untreated sewage, the Department of Natural Resources announced today.

The sewage overflow, which city officials reported to the department Tuesday afternoon, began at approximately 11 a.m. at 7803 East 40 Highway and continued until shortly before 1:30 p.m. An unknown amount of the wastewater is believed to have reached the Blue River.

City crews reported the blockage was caused by mud from a collapsed trench that had been dug for previous repairs on the line.

Clean water regulations require the city to submit a report detailing the release to the department within five days. The department will base future enforcement action on the city's report.

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 this case, 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's website at 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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