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Raw sewage spills into Prairie Lee Lake, maybe Lake Jacomo

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is investigating a raw sewage spill that made its way from a Lee's Summit pump station to Prairie Lee Lake.

The concern Saturday morning was that sewage may also have spilled into Lake Jacomo in Blue Springs, threatening to dampen Labor Day lake activity.

Doug Thompson, an emergency response coordinator for the state Department of Natural Resources in Jefferson City, said Jackson County Parks and Recreation officials were assessing the problem and posting warning signs along the lake.

"Once sewage gets in to the water, there is not much you can do," Thompson said. "Sewage is soluble, and it's going to mix. The only thing you can do is post signs warning the public against coming in contact with the water."

County officials were not available Saturday afternoon to comment on the condition of the lake.

Thompson said the state department's Kansas City regional office in Lee's Summit was notified Friday by a resident near Prairie Lee Lake that raw sewage was draining into the lake and that a discolored plume was visible across the lake.

Pumps at a nearby pump station had been turned off Thursday for maintenance and inadvertently left off overnight to Friday morning when the sewage overflowed into the lake. The release of sewage was stopped by 9 a.m.

The exact amount of sewage that reached the lake, or its impact on Lake Jacomo, which is connected to Prairie Lee Lake, is not known, Thompson said.

To report an environmental emergency, including sewage overflows, please contact the Department of Natural Resources' spill line at 573-634-2436.

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