News Release 509

Department of Natural Resources investigating sewage release from Warrensburg wastewater collection system

Volume 38-509 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, AUG. 30, 2010 – The Department of Natural Resources is investigating the release of more than 50,000 gallons of sewage into a Warrensburg creek.

City officials from the Warrensburg East Wastewater Treatment Plant, 441 NE 300 Road, contacted the department this morning to report more than 50,000 gallons of wastewater escaped from the sewage collection system and flowed into Bear Creek.

Officials do not know when the overflow, which was discovered Sunday, began. It ended at 7 a.m. today. The cause of the overflow is under investigation.

The department dispatched investigators from its Kansas City Regional Office in Lee’s Summit to help determine the cause and document potential 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.

To report an environmental emergency, including after-hour sewage overflows, please contact the DNR spill line at 573-634-2436. To report sewage overflows during regular business hours, contact the nearest regional office. A list of regional offices, their contact information and service areas is available online: /regions/regions.htm.