News Release 504a
Department of Natural Resources investigating sewage sludge release from Jefferson County wastewater treatment facility
Volume 38-504a (For immediate release)
Contact: Larry Archer
JEFFERSON CITY, MO, AUG. 26, 2010 – The Department of Natural Resources is investigating the release of sewage sludge from a Jefferson County wastewater treatment facility located near a county swimming beach.
Department staff, during a regular inspection Wednesday of the wastewater treatment facility for the city of Byrnes Mill, discovered a substantial amount of wastewater sludge in a backwater pool where the facility discharges its treated wastewater.
The inspector discovered the discharge site, located near the confluence of Heads Creek and Big River, full of sewage sludge. Floating pieces of sludge were seen breaking off and flowing into Big River.
The discharge site, also referred to as the facility’s outfall, is located across from the Rockford Beach Park fishing and swimming area. The department has informed county health and parks officials so that appropriate health-related steps can be taken to inform and protect beach users.
Crews were expected to begin the cleanup of the site this evening. The department is overseeing the cleanup and working with the city to determine the cause of the release.
The department considers discharges of improperly treated wastewater from treatment facilities 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.