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News from the Water Services Department

CONTACT: Colleen Doctorian, public information officer, 816-513-0232


Extreme weather, increased water use contribute

to increased water main breaks

For the first time in several summers, the temperature in Kansas City has hit 100 degrees and as the hot weather increases, the ground dries out and water use increases, leading to an increase in water main breaks.

“The past few summers have been cooler and wetter than normal,” said Acting Water Services Director Rich Noll. “This year’s hotter weather has led to more water main breaks this summer than in recent memory. However, the Department is working to reduce the number of breaks.”

To help address the increased number of main breaks, the Department has brought in three private contractors to assist in making timely repairs.

Pushing more water through the piping system along with the ground shifting from hot, dry weather, can cause smaller, older mains to break, said Jim Mellem, assistant director of system maintenance. Many of the lines that were installed during World War II and post-war years are more susceptible to break in these extreme conditions.

The city prioritizes the breaks based on a number of factors, which include safety (impact on fire protection and other public safety concerns); number of consumers-out of-water; and damage to private property, roads, and other infrastructure; and impact on traffic flow.

At this time, the city is focusing its repair efforts on the most serious of the breaks. Repair of breaks of lesser severity will be initiated once all of the highest priority breaks are completed.

We should note that residents may experience low water pressure or temporary loss of water service due to these breaks and their repair.

WSD is upgrading the existing piping system with funds from the $250 million in water bonds voters approved in 2005.

The improvements include the Small Main Replacement Program that is replacing 2-inch water mains with larger mains that will reduce the number of breaks, improve fire protection and improve water service. This year more than 20 miles of small mains will be replaced. Many of the mains being replaced were installed in neighborhoods before annexation by Kansas City.

Current projects include:

North of the Missouri River

    • N.W. 68th St. and N.W. Evelyn St.; N.W. 71st St. – Pennsylvania Ave. to Broadway Ave.; N. Bell St. and N.W. Hammer Dr.

    • N.E. 88th St. to N.E. 96th St.; N. Broadway Ave. to N. Brooklyn Ave.

    • N.E. 88th St.; N. Highland Ave. to N. Troost Ave.

    • N.E. Russell Rd. to Avondale City Limits; N. Prospect Ave. to N. Jackson Ave.

    • N. Jackson Ave. to N. Topping Ave; N.E.56th St. to N.E.48th St.

    • N. Cambridge Ave; N.E. 54th St., NE 53rd St., N.E. 52nd St., N. Winchester Ave.

    • N. Topping Ave to Randolph Rd., N.E. 48th St. to N.E.56th St.,

    • N.W. 72nd St. to N.W .80th St.; Nodaway Ave. To N.W. Prairie View Rd.

South of the Missouri River

    • W.38th St. between Mercier St. and Roanoke Rd.

    • 75th St. to 83rd St.; Wornall Rd. to State Line Rd.

    • State Line Rd. to Wornall Rd., 92nd St. to 99th St. and 89th St. between Holmes Rd. and Wornall Rd.

    • 21st St. from Olive St. to Prospect Ave. and 25th St. and 25th St. Highland Ave. to Woodland Ave.

    • W. 57th St. between Wayne Ave. and Highland Ave., Wayne Ave. between 57th St. and 58th St.

    • Red Bridge Terr. to116th St., Troost Ave. to Prospect Ave.

    • Rochester to Independence Ave., Prospect Ave. to Jackson Ave.

    • 59thSt. to 67th St., Prospect Ave. to Jackson Ave.

    • 83rd St. to 91st St., Prospect Ave. to Jackson Ave.

For more information, contact Colleen Doctorian, public information officer for the Water Services Department at (816) 513-0232.

The Kansas City, Mo., Water Services Department maintains and operates water intake, processing and distribution systems, stormwater management and control systems, and wastewater collection and processing systems for residential and business customers in Kansas City and for wholesale customers in the Kansas City region. Operation is funded entirely by fees charged to customers based on their use of products and services, not by taxes.


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