Inadvertently mixed chemicals lead to minor haz-mat situation at Mission wastewater facility

Firefighters brought in fans to ventilate the facility. Photos credit Mike Frizzell.

Firefighters from Consolidated Fire District No. 2 and the Overland Park Fire Department were called in to assist Johnson County Wastewater after chemicals were accidentally mixed inside a wastewater treatment substation.

Johnson County Wastewater called for the fire department to respond to the substation, located at 5395 MartwayStreet in Mission, about 10:30 Monday morning and were on scene until about 4 p.m. The facility is directly behind the fire-damaged Mission Bowl building.

“This is smaller than it looks, we’ve got a lot of vehicles out here,” said Fire Marshal Todd Kerkhoff of Consolidated Fire District No. 2. “What happened was a chemical got accidentally pumped into the wrong tank.”

Kerkhoff says that when the two chemicals mixed, they created a gas which smells similar to ammonia.

Firefighters worked to ventilate the room so that the chemical mixture could be pumped to a 50,000-gallon tank where it was then diluted with water.

“This substation will then pump that to the Johnson County Wastewater facility at 48th and Nall, and it will get treated like regular wastewater,” Kerkhoff said.

Johnson County Med-Act evaluated one wastewater employee at the scene. Kerkhoff says that employee was not seriously injured.