News Release 488

Ruptured sewer main results in wastewater release in Lake Ozark

Volume 38-488 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, AUG. 23, 2010 – A sewer main break in Lake Ozark Sunday evening resulted in the release of an estimated 1,000 gallons of wastewater to the Lake of the Ozarks, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Lake Ozark city officials notified the Department of Natural Resources Sunday evening that a wastewater main near 104 Arrowhead Estates ruptured at approximately 7 p.m. and continued to release untreated wastewater to the lake until approximately 9:45 p.m.

City crews began repairing the line after the release was stopped. The Department is dispatching a water specialist to the scene today to assess the environmental damage done by the release.

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.

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