For Immediate Release
April 10, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Stream Advisory Lifted for the Missouri River in Atchison County

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is lifting a Stream Advisory for the Missouri River in Atchison County and downstream from the City of Atchison.

On the morning of April 6, KDHE was notified that the City of Atchison lost pumps and motors at its wastewater treatment plant headworks.  That problem was resolved within two hours.  It was also reported that new pumps and motors were to be replaced on April 7.  On April 8, KDHE was informed that after the City’s initial repairs of the pumps and motors, a large circuit breaker failed.  Because of the failure, a loss of power to the headworks caused a new bypass of sewage to the Missouri River.  Power was restored on April 8 and the bypass ended.

Because of anticipated elevated levels of fecal coliform bacteria in the Missouri River as a result of the sewage bypass, KDHE issued a Stream Advisory on April 8. That advisory recommended that individuals avoid contact with the River and restrict pets and livestock from contact with River water until the extent of the impact from the sewage bypass could be determined.

KDHE expects the elevated levels of fecal coliform bacteria in the Missouri River attributed to this sewage bypass to have diminished due to significant dilution and natural die-off.  Therefore, the advisory is being lifted as of 10 a.m. today.