Drinking Water Service Line Inventory

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On December 16, 2021, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) in the Federal Register to better protect public health. To fulfill new federal requirements, the City of Kansas City, Missouri along with other water utilities in our region and across the country, are part of a national effort to assure the quality of the nation’s drinking water. Kansas City takes the safety of drinking water seriously and it’s the top priority of the KC Water Department.

What is the Drinking Water Service Line Inventory?

In 1989, lead was banned as a pipe material for water service lines in the state of Missouri. Buildings constructed after that date will not have lead service lines. If a building was constructed before 1989 that does not mean it has a lead service line. Most do not, but it is possible.

To continue assuring the safety of Kansas City’s drinking water supply, KC Water is undertaking this initiative to identify materials used in service lines across the city. Service lines are the pipes that connect from water main pipes to buildings and houses (see graphic). The results of the initial inventory, a list of what material current services lines are made of based on historical records, will be available on an online map for customers to look up known service line materials identified, to date. Initial inventories and an online map of results from cities and municipalities throughout the nation are due October 2024.

Graphic illustration of a water service line
Graphic illustration of a water service line

What is a water service line?

Water service lines connect properties to Kansas City’s water mains to provide drinking water directly to homes and businesses. The service lines are privately owned and extend from the curb stop to the home. Water meters are typically in the house or in the yard after the curb stop valve.

How will the inventory be created?

Kansas City has over 176,000 service lines and the city is over 100 years old. It is a huge undertaking to find and review historical records for all the service lines. Given the size and age of the city, the initial inventory will likely contain many “unknown” lines – ones where the material can’t be identified from current records. After the inventory from historical data is complete, KC Water will continue with a multi-year program to identify unknown service line materials.

Is my drinking water safe?

→ The drinking water treatment facility, operated by KC Water, includes a water softening process. The primary process utilizes lime which reduces the reactivity of your water. In addition to that safeguard, phosphates are added to the water as a corrosion inhibitor to prevent metals from leaching into drinking water.

→ KC Water has a dedicated team of licensed professionals and a certified laboratory that continuously tests the drinking water. Sampling happens on a daily, monthly, and annual basis to provide safe drinking water. Consumer Confidence Reports are available annually around July 1.

Project Timeline

  • Collecting Historical Data (Summer 2023 – Spring 2024)
    KC Water is in the process of reviewing and collecting water records for over 176,000 service lines throughout the Kansas City metro, some being older than 100 years!
  • Verifying Accuracy of the Historical Data (Spring 2024 – Fall 2024)
    Once the historical data has been collected and initially reviewed, KC Water will begin a program to confirm the reliability of historical records. This may include inspecting service lines when Kansas City crews are doing repairs on water mains and meters, making spot checks of service, or encouraging residents to voluntarily provide information on service lines entering their buildings. This will be a multi-year program and details will be developed in 2024.
  • Publish a Public-Facing Map Online Showing Material Types Results (October 2024)
    Like all other public water utilities across the nation, by October of 2024 KC Water will publish a searchable, online map for customers to view the initial inventory. The inventory is a list of what material current services lines are made of based on historical records.
  • Next Steps (October 2024 and Beyond)
    KC Water is still in the process of determining the next phases of work for this project. Stay up-to-date! For the most accurate project information visit this webpage.