News Release 005

Sewer line break results in wastewater release in Jefferson City

Volume 39-005 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JAN. 6, 2011 – A break in a sewer line Wednesday afternoon resulted in the release of an estimated 24,000 gallons of wastewater into a drainage way in Jefferson City, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
City officials notified the department today that a sewer line in the 900 block of Rock Hill Court broke, allowing the release of untreated wastewater into a drainage way that goes to a stormwater culvert.
City crews stopped the release, repaired the line and started cleanup. The department dispatched an inspector from its Northeast Regional Office in Macon to inspect the site and determined the wastewater did not travel down the stormwater culvert and enter Grays Creek. The city is required by law to submit a written report of how the release occurred, what was done 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: