News Release 690

Electrical failure leads to 3,000-gallon wastewater overflow in Platte City

Volume 38-690 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010 

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, DEC. 10, 2010 – An electrical failure at a Platte City pump station Thursday resulted in the release of an estimated 3,000 gallons of wastewater into an unnamed tributary to Prairie Creek, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

City officials contacted the department this morning to report that a power outage at approximately 9 a.m. Thursday shut down a pump station and cause wastewater to back up in the system before escaping from a manhole located near 136th Street and 7th Parkway.

Power was restored and the overflow ended at 10:30 a.m. Approximately 3,000 gallons of wastewater entered a ditch that drains into Prairie Creek.  City crews have cleaned the area and drawn water samples to determine if the release reached Prairie Creek. The city is required by law to submit a written report of how the overflow occurred, what was to clean up the area and what steps are being taken to prevent future overflows.

The department will review the report and sampling results 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.