Nearly 60,000 gallons of wastewater were released into Mill Creek and the Missouri River Saturday because of a broken sewer pipe in Independence, according to state officials.

Nearly 60,000 gallons of wastewater were released into Mill Creek and the Missouri River Saturday because of a broken sewer pipe in Independence, according to state officials.

According to Dick Champion, director of the Independence Water Pollution Control Department, the city has no reason for an environmental concern from its observations. City officials reported to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources on Monday that a wastewater lift station at 2401 N. Liberty St. was taken out of service Saturday to repair a broken water main. Clean water regulations require the city to submit a report detailing the release to the DNR within five days.

Champion confirmed the following account of DNR-provided events: With the North Liberty Street lift station out of service Saturday, about 54,400 gallons of wastewater backed up and overflowed into a tributary of Mill Creek.

About 5,200 gallons of wastewater escaped from the original sewer line break that occurred near 2200 N. Liberty St. The wastewater entered Mill Creek and flowed downstream to the Missouri River.

The pump station was shut off at 1:30 p.m. and was returned to service at 6:15 p.m., when the overflow ended.

“If I thought the environment was harmed, we would still be out there doing our jobs,” Champion said Tuesday. “Yes, it has the potential to carry diseases and contaminants, but in my world, 60,000 gallons is a heck of a lot less than the 10 million gallons I treat every day. This stuff happens all the time, but we’re very religious about reporting them every time they happen.

“Things like that happen, and this is an old piece of infrastructure. Like I said before, we have plans to update it. We just, believe it or not, have to get DNR permission to do so.”