News Release 134
Clogged sewer line in Columbia results in wastewater overflow to Grindstone Creek tributary
Volume 38-134 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer
JEFFERSON CITY, MO., MARCH 19, 2010 – A clogged sewer line in southeast Columbia today resulted in the release of untreated wastewater into an unnamed tributary of Grindstone Creek, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
The department received a call at approximately 1:45 p.m. from city officials who reported that a clogged sewer line had caused an unknown amount of sewage to overflow from a manhole near 2800 Bluff Creek Drive.
The overflow was stopped at about 2:45 p.m. The released sewage flowed into a nearby unnamed tributary to Grindstone Creek, which is about three-fourths of a mile upstream of the creek.
The department dispatched field staff from its Northeast Regional Office in Macon and notified the Columbia-Boone County Health Department. The investigator conducted a visual inspection of the site, and completed field monitoring and sampling to determine impacts to the existing water quality.
The department considers discharges of wastewater from sanitary sewer collection systems to be threats to public health and the environment. Such discharges can contaminate lakes and streams, causing serious water quality problems.
Sanitary sewer overflows can be caused by obstructions in sewer lines, such as in this case, mechanical failure, infiltration of rainwater and snow melt into aging systems or undersized systems that cannot compensation 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.
For more information on sanitary sewer overflows or other water quality issues, contact the Department of Natural Resources’ Water Protection Program at 573-751-1300 or 800-361-4827 or visit the department website at dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp.
To report an environmental emergency, including sewage overflows, please contact the DNR 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 dnr.mo.gov.