City of Weatherby Lake get news of sewage spill two days later

Hours after an estimated 1,000 gallons of sewage spilled into Weatherby Lake late Wednesday, Kansas City water officials contacted the state to report it.

But water officials did not contact the city of Weatherby Lake until 12:30 p.m. today, almost two days after the spill, Mayor Gerald Bos said.

“They’re sometimes a little slow in getting a hold of us,” Bos said.

Colleen Doctorian, water services department spokeswoman, said she did not know why her agency did not contact the Weatherby Lake officials until today.

Bernardo Garcia, water services director, could not be reached for comment.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources announced Friday that it is investigating. The spill occurred at a Kansas City wastewater lift station near 8316 N.W. Forest Drive in Platte County, according to a DNR news release.

The Kansas City Public Works Department notified the DNR on Thursday and reported that a power failure shut off the pumps at the lift station, causing the sewage to begin overflowing from a manhole into Weatherby Lake.

The DNR conducted water sampling at the lake on Thursday to determine if the water quality had been affected. However, Thursday’s rains probably contributed to even more bacteria in the lake, making it difficult to know the true impact of the spill, according to the DNR statement.

In September, water services employees working on a leak in south Kansas City went home for the weekend before fixing it. More than 3 million gallons of sewage spilled into a tributary of the Blue River. The public wasn’t notified about the spill until the DNR ordered the water department to do so four days later.

The state says sewage spills are a threat to public health and the environment.

Bos said the city is trying to develop a system of notifying all Weatherby Lake residents by telephone when there is a sewage spill.