Marais des Cygnes River

Marais des Cygnes River north of Mill Street Bridge

OSAWATOMIE – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) issued an advisory Thursday, Oct. 17, for the Marais des Cygnes River at Osawatomie – north of the Mill Street Bridge and east of U.S. Highway 169 and Main Street – caused by a break in the community’s main sewer line.

City crews were working Thursday to repair the main sewer line leading into the wastewater treatment plant, according to a city of Osawatomie news release.

Due to the line break, bacteria and other pollutant levels may be potentially elevated in the Marais des Cygnes River and neighboring tributaries, according to the city news release. People who live or have activities near these locations should not enter the water or allow children or pets to go into the water, according to the release.

The break does not affect Osawatomie's drinking water supply, Osawatomie Assistant City Manager Meagan Borth said. KDHE also has notified entities in the surrounding area that use the Marais des Cygnes River as a water source.

"Employees at the Marais des Cygnes Public Utility Authority water treatment plant are monitoring the situation and taking measures to ensure the safety and quality of drinking water is not compromised," Louisburg City Administrator Nathan Law said. The plant serves the communities of Paola and Louisburg. 

Borth said the line repair work is being contracted out, and the company doing the job is to begin work Friday. The current plan is to create a temporary line, which the company making the repairs believes will take one day’s work, she said.

"It started leaking today and our superintendent found it very quickly as they monitor water levels daily," Borth said Thursday afternoon. "He found the problem and contracted administration around 10 a.m. today. KDHE was contacted around 10:30 a.m. and we spent the day working with them and the contractors."

KDHE said it will rescind the advisory after the repairs are completed and water samples show no health risks exist in the river and water contact is deemed safe, according to the release.

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or

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