The Water Services Division is also responsible for the operation and maintenance of the wastewater collection system and treatment facility. The treatment facility was designed to treat an average flow of 2.26 million gallons and a peak flow of 7.63 million gallons daily. After the biological process of reducing and removing sludge, the treated wastewater is released into East Creek, which is a tributary of the South Grand River and Truman Lake. Compliance with state and federal regulations is extremely important as the City's sanitary sewer conveyance and treatment system is designed to protect water quality and the environment.
Sanitary Sewer System
The City of Belton's sanitary sewage collection system covers approximately 22 square miles. It consists of a network of:
- Eight pump stations
- More than 110 miles of underground piping
- More than 2,400 manholes
The collection system is divided into two main drainage basins. Approximately 50% of Belton's wastewater flows to and is treated at the Little Blue Valley Sewer District. The remaining flow is conveyed to Belton's wastewater treatment facility, where it is treated following guidelines and limits imposed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).
It is the current goal of the Water Services Division to clean each sewer line in the collection system every three years.
The Belton Wastewater Treatment Facility uses an activated sludge process operating in the extended aeration mode. It consists primarily of an aeration basin and three final clarifiers, with additional equipment designed to remove grit and large solids. Sludge is dewatered using two belt filter presses and then hauled to a landfill in the Kansas City metro area.
Explanation of Backflow
Water distribution systems are designed with the intention of the water flowing in one direction - from the distribution system to the consumer. However, hydraulic conditions within the system may deviate from the normal conditions, causing water to flow in the opposite direction. Therefore, it is possible (and common) for water to flow in the opposite direction in unprotected systems. This is called backflow.
A cross-connection is formed at any point where a drinking water line connects either to equipment such as boilers or to systems containing chemicals such as:
- Air-conditioning systems
- Fire sprinkler systems
- Irrigation systems
Cross-connection contamination can occur from backpressure, or when the pressure in the equipment or system is greater than the pressure inside the drinking water line. Contamination can also occur when the pressure of the drinking water line drops due to fairly routine occurrences, such as main breaks or heavy water demand. This causes contaminants to be sucked out from the equipment and into the drinking water line, known as backsiphonage.
Community water supplies are continuously jeopardized by cross-connections unless appropriate valves, know as backflow prevention assemblies, are installed and maintained. It is both a city and state regulation to have annual inspections and tests of each backflow assembly.
Reasons for Backups
On occasion, the Water Services Division receives complaints about sewage backing up into basements, crawlspaces, drains, etc. These problems are generally caused by the disposal of excessive grease and other inappropriate debris by households and businesses into the sanitary sewer system.
The following is a partial list of items that should not be disposed of in the sanitary sewer system:
- Animal carcasses
- Cat litter
- Construction debris
- Fatty foods and associated grease
- Large rags
- Motor oils
- Old prescription drugs
- Pesticides and herbicides
- Various other toxins, pollutants, or wastes not normally disposed of in a sanitary sewer system
Customer / City Responsibilities
When sewer backups are investigated, a majority of the problems are found in the customers' service lines, which run from residences to the city sewer main and include the hookup to the sewer main. The city's responsibility begins at the sewer main.
For More Information
If you experience troubles with your drains, the Water Services Division has staff members available seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call (816) 322-1885 for assistance. An alternate number, (816) 331-4331, can be used in case of emergency. A recording is available with after-hours contact information.