News Release 626

Clogged Kansas City sewer line results 2,000-gallon wastewater release that reaches Little Blue River

Volume 38-626 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, NOV. 1, 2010 – A clog in a Kansas City sewer line Saturday resulted in the release of an estimated 2,080 gallons of wastewater into a storm drain that empties into the Little Blue River, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

City officials reported to the department’s emergency spill line Saturday morning that a blocked sewer line resulted in a wastewater overflow from a manhole near 5404 E. 97th St. The discharge then flowed into a storm drain that ultimately discharges to Little Blue River.

City crews removed the clog, treated the area with lime, posted signs in pubic access points and took water samples from the Little Blue River to determine if wastewater that reached the river from a nearby storm drain affected water quality.

Staff from the department’s Kansas City Regional Office are following up with the city today, and will be reviewing the city’s incident report to determine what enforcement action will be taken in the case.

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 mechanical failure, obstructions in sewer lines, 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.