News Release 001

Pump failure leads to 50,000-gallon wastewater overflow near Platte City

Volume 39-001 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JAN. 3, 2011 – A pump failure at the Prairie Creek Pump Station located near Platte City Sunday resulted in the release of an estimated 50,000 gallons of wastewater into Prairie Creek, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Staff of Timber Creek Sewer Co., which owns and operates the Prairie Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility, contacted the department this morning to report that a pump failure Sunday at the Prairie Creek Pump Station, caused wastewater to back up in the system before escaping from a manhole located at the pump station.
The overflow, which occurred between 4 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. Sunday, entered Prairie Creek, which is approximately 20 yards from the pump station and manhole.
The department dispatched an inspector from its Kansas City Regional Office this morning to investigate the site and collect water samples from Prairie Creek. The company 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 company's report and the results of the 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.
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: http://dnr.mo.gov/regions/regions.htm.

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