News Release 330

Blocked sewer main results in wastewater release to Rolla stream

Volume 39-330 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, SEPT. 30, 2011 – The Department of Natural Resources is overseeing the cleanup of an undetermined amount of wastewater released to a Rolla stream after a blocked sewer main resulted in a sewer overflow.

Rolla city officials reported the wastewater release to the department Thursday afternoon. The release occurred from a manhole located north of the intersection of McCutchen Drive and Old St. James Road.

An inspector from the department’s satellite office in Rolla found evidence of sewage along a one-half mile section of Burgher Branch, which is a creek that is typically dry except during wet weather.

City crews cleared the obstruction in the sewer and stopped the overflow Thursday afternoon. The amount of wastewater released and the length of time the overflow occurred is unknown.

Crews have also dammed the creek and are using vacuum trucks to clean up identified pools of wastewater. Areas affected around the manhole have been disinfected with lime.

The Department of Natural Resources will use the investigator’s findings plus 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.

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: