Sewage bypass in Jackson County

For more information: 573-751-1010
Volume 37-414 For Immediate Release: Nov. 3, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources investigated a bypass which occurred yesterday afternoon at 1300 E. 85th St. in Jackson County.  The city of Kansas City Public Works reported to the department that approximately 900 gallons of sewage was released into an unnamed tributary, which the department determined is 1.3 miles from the Blue River.  

The release occurred when debris partially blocked a grate that carries sewage water from a combined sewer pipe into a sanitary sewer.  The sewage backed up out of the grate and was released onto the ground, which lead to a small unnamed tributary.  The Kansas City Public Works officials were able to remove the debris blockage in about an hour and a half after identifying the problem and the flow in the collection system lines resumed as usual. 

The Department of Natural Resources investigated the site today to confirm the information in the report. The release occurred in a primarily light industrial area.  The department does not expect effects to the Blue River to be significant because both the volume of the sewage spill was low and the Blue River is 1.3 miles downstream from where the spill occurred.  However, the department has asked the Kansas City Public Works to sample the tributary to determine if there were any remaining effects to the tributary stream. If the department receives additional information from the city that would indicate a concern for public access areas along the tributary or Blue River, the department will provide additional details.

The release of untreated sewage from sewer systems, such as this, is known as a sanitary sewer overflow represents a potential threat to public health and the environment.  Most of the overflows occur during wet weather events.  However, in this instance, the overflow occurred during a dry weather event.

To report an environmental emergency, including sewage overflows, please contact the Department of Natural Resources' spill line at 573-634-2436. For more information contact the department at 800-361-4827 or 573-751-3443, or visit the department's Web page at