News Release 532

Clogged sewer line results in Gower results in release of 2,500 gallons of wastewater

Volume 38-532 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, SEPT. 10, 2010 – A clogged sewer line in the Clinton County town of Gower resulted in the release of 2,000 to 4,000 gallons of wastewater to a local creek this morning, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Gower officials contacted the department this afternoon to report a clogged sewer line caused wastewater to back up and escape from a manhole near 203 Cummings Drive. The wastewater then ran into Jenkins Branch.

 The overflow began at 8 a.m. and was stopped by 11:30 a.m. City crews have cleaned the area and removed debris in the discharge location. 

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 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.