News Release 533

Power outage results in release of 10,000 gallons of wastewater into Pied Creek tributary in Kansas City

Volume 38-533 (For Immediate Release)
Contact: Larry Archer

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, SEPT. 13, 2010 – A lift station power outage late Friday resulted in the release of an estimated 10,000 gallons of wastewater to a Kansas City creek, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

City officials reported to the department Saturday that between 10:30 p.m. Friday and midnight Saturday approximately 10,000 gallons of wastewater flowed from a manhole near 7430 NW Mace Road into an unnamed tributary to Pied Creek. A power outage at the Mace Road Lift Station caused the wastewater to back up in the collection system until it began to overflow from the manhole.

The city has sampled the water in the Pied Creek tributary to document the effect the overflow had on water quality. Clean water regulations require the city to submit a report detailing the release to the department within five days.

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.