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KC Water Continues to Experience Water Treatment Challenges Due to Missouri River Flooding

Posted on March 25, 2019

(Kansas City, Mo.) Melting snow, rain runoff, and high floodwaters have combined to create rare treatment challenges for KC Water.  Because of changes in the Missouri River, the source of Kansas City’s drinking water, KC Water failed to meet enhanced treatment technique standards for turbidity during March for the treatment of Cryptosporidium.

In accordance with state regulations the turbidity entering the distribution system must be equal to or less than 0.15 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU) in at least 95% of the measurements taken each month. Changes in raw water quality of the Missouri River the week of March 17th caused by flooding have affected the ability of the treatment process to make very fine particles settle out of the water. KC Water reported to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources the failure to meet 0.15 NTU in at least 95% of monthly measurements for the month.

Although the state does not consider this an emergency this mandatory notification is needed to advise customers who a severely compromised immune system, have an infant, or are elderly. These customers may be at increased risk and should seek advice about drinking water from their health care providers. General guidelines on ways to lessen the risk of infection by microbes are available from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791. If you have specific health concerns, consult your doctor.

The following is mandatory health effects language from the public notification regulations, 10 CSR 60-8.010. Inadequately treated water may contain disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites which can cause symptoms such as nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and associated headaches.

KC Water is adjusting the treatment process every day to offset the changes in the raw water and additional water quality tests are being conducted to monitor changes and ensure that the water is safe.

As the Missouri River returns to normal levels, KC Water expects the treatment problems to be resolved.

KC Water can be reached by calling 311 or (816) 513-1313 24-hours a day for emergencies.

Customers may also contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Kansas City Regional Office 816-251-0700 or Public Drinking Water Branch at 573-526-6925.

For more information, please contact Brooke Givens, Communications and Outreach Manager, at, or 816-513-0284.


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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