News Release 298

Lift station overflow results in sewage release into a northwest Kansas City creek

Volume 38-298 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, MAY 18, 2010 – A lift station malfunction Monday evening resulted in the release of as much as 7,000 of untreated wastewater into a northwest Kansas City creek, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

City officials contacted the department this morning and reported a pump malfunction in Tiffany Lake Lift Station, 10898 N. Dalton Ave., caused raw sewage to back up and overflow from the lift station into Tiffany Lake Creek. The overflow began at approximately 5:30 p.m. Monday and continued until 8:30 a.m. today.  However, because of the intermittent nature of the overflow, the precise volume of the sewage released is not available but could be as high as 7,000 gallons.

High water levels in the creek from previous days’ rains is expected to mitigate much of the environmental damage to the creek, which does not run through any residential or public use areas.

Clean water regulations require the city to submit a report detailing the release to the department within five days. The department will base future enforcement action on the city’s report.

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– such as in this case – obstructions in sewer lines, 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’s website at

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