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KC Water Celebrates 200th Mile of Water Main Replacement Program

Posted on July 17, 2020

Mayor Quinton Lucas joins KC Water for pipe signing

(Kansas City, MO) – KC Water celebrated the 200th mile of new water mains placed around the city with a pipe signing on Thursday, July 16th. Mayor Quinton Lucas joined KC Water Director Terry Leeds and other KC Water employees in making history.

The commemorative pipe represents the 200th mile of new water mains that KC Water has replaced under our Water Main Replacement Program that began in 2012.

“There are over 2,800 miles of underground water mains serving Kansas City. Our goal is to replace at least one percent every year,” said KC Water Director Terry Leeds.

In 2017, KC Water reached the 100th mile marker and celebrated with a similar event. Three years later, crews have now replaced 200 miles of pipe.

The purpose of the water main replacement program is to improve aging and failing water infrastructure. Some of the pipes still in use today are nearly 100 years old.

“This new infrastructure will reduce water outages around the city. We’re also adding more fire protection,” said KC Water Project Manager and Engineer, Terry Thomas.

Since the water main replacement program began, water main breaks have decreased 39%. In the fiscal year of 2012, there were 1,846 water main breaks recorded in 12 months. That number dropped to 729 in fiscal year 2020.

“We are using technology to determine which pipes need to be replaced first. The Info Asset Planner shows us where we have problems in the system. It evaluates the age and number of breaks and analyzes the likelihood and consequences of failure in the water main system,” said KC Water Water Distribution Division Head, Melanie Jollett.

KC Water and its contractors have accomplished a lot in the last three years and the work must continue.  Replacing 1 percent (28 miles of pipes per year), it will take 100 years to replace the entire water distribution system.

For more information, contact Heather Frierson, KC Water Media Relations Coordinator, 816-513-0280, cell: 816-674-0211

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KC Water maintains and operates water treatment and distribution systems, stormwater management systems, and wastewater collection and treatment systems for residential and business customers in Kansas City and for wholesale customers in the Kansas City area.  KC Water is primarily funded by fees charged to customers based on their use or impacts on the three utility systems.

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