News Release 512

Wastewater overflow results in 13,500 gallons of sewage entering Blue River tributary in Kansas City

Volume 38-512 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, AUG. 31, 2010 – A wastewater overflow in Kansas City Monday resulted in the release of an estimated 13,500 gallons of sewage into an unnamed tributary of the Blue River, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

City officials reported to the department this morning that between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Monday approximately 13,500 gallons of wastewater flowed from the sewer system at 1450 E.101st St. into an unnamed tributary to the Blue River. Officials did not report the cause of the overflow.

The city has treated the area where the wastewater flowed over land to the tributary with lime and has posted the area with signs warning people of the sewage release.

The Department of Natural Resources dispatched an investigator to the seen to document the release and any environmental damage.

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 and the inspector’s findings.

 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 obstructions in sewer lines, mechanical failure, 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.

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: /regions/regions.htm.