News Release 440

Department of Natural Resources discovers wastewater release in Jefferson City

Volume 38-440 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer
573-751-3807

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, AUG. 4, 2010 – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is investigating a wastewater release discovered Tuesday in Jefferson City.

A staff member from the department’s Northeast Regional Office in Macon was in Jefferson City Tuesday morning investigating an environmental concern when he discovered a wastewater overflow from a manhole near Bluebird Drive and Route C.

Regional office staff contacted Jefferson City officials concerning the overflow, and city staff responded to the scene. The cause of the overflow was determined to be a blocked sewer line, which resulted in an undetermined amount of untreated sewage overflowing from the manhole and entering an unnamed tributary to the Moreau River. Prior to reaching the Moreau River the unnamed tributary flows through Renn Lake.

The investigator remained in Jefferson City this afternoon to take water samples to determine if the release resulted in any significant environmental damage.

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

Sanitary sewer overflows can be caused by obstructions in sewer lines, mechanical failure, infiltration of rainwater and snow melt into aging systems, or undersized systems that cannot compensate 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.

###