News Release 697

Loose line leads to wastewater release at Vernon County dairy

Volume 38-697 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010 

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, DEC. 17, 2010 – A disconnected line on a pump at a Vernon County dairy resulted in the release of 60,000-80,000 gallons of animal waste into a local creek overnight Monday, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

A manager at Focal Dairy, located east of Highway AA near Harwood in northern Vernon County, reported to the department this morning that waste from the facility was release after facility staff removed the line from a recirculating pump to keep the line from freezing overnight, but neglected to shut down the pump.

When the pump began operating late Monday waste was discharged into nearby Kitten Creek. The release was discovered and the pump shut down early Tuesday.

The department dispatched an investigator from its Southwest Regional Office in Springfield to the scene this morning to determine the extent of the environmental damage caused by the release.

The company is required by law to submit a written report of how the release occurred, what was to clean up the area and what steps are being taken to prevent future overflows. The department will review the report along with the findings from its investigation 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.

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.