News Release 148

Clogged sewer line in Lebanon results in 5,000 gallon wastewater release

Volume 38-148 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., MARCH 23, 2010 – A clogged sewer line in Lebanon Monday afternoon resulted in the release of an estimated 5,000 gallons of untreated sewage into a field, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

The department received a call this morning from city officials who reported that a clogged sewer line had caused sewage to overflow from a manhole into a field at the end of Carmeco Road on the city’s northeast side. 

Officials reported that the release, believed to have been caused by roots in the sewer line, began at about 3:20 p.m. and continued for approximately 90 minutes.

The city has begun scraping the residue of the release off the field and treating the area with lime to limit the environmental impact.

Although none of the sewage from this release reached any local waterways, the department considers discharges of wastewater from sanitary sewer collection systems to be threats to public health and the environment because of their ability to contaminate lakes and streams and cause 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 website at

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