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KC Water Uses Advanced Technology to Place Pipe underneath the Missouri River

Posted on June 25, 2021

(Kansas City, MO) – Most of the time, KC Water crews replace pipes underneath a major road or neighborhood street but new technology allows crews to place a pipe almost anywhere…even underneath a river.

KC Water contractors are using a process called Horizontal Directional Drilling to replace a 70 year-old wastewater pipe near Searcy Creek Parkway and 210 highway. In the video below, crews pull more than 10 football field lengths of new pipe 70 feet below the bottom of the Missouri River.

KC Water’s Senior Engineer and Project Manager for the Buckeye Force Creek Rehab and Pump Station Revitalization Project says this is no easy task.

“We have a new 36 inch main that we are running underneath the MO River that will be replacing an existing 24 inch pipe that’s been in service since about 1965,” said White.

The pipe sections are placed underground where more machinery pulls the pipe through.  This challenging location required a different approach.

“We’re drilling from both sides of the river and once you meet at a point, the connection is what we did and pulled that pipe through,” said White.

This project used 3800 feet of new pipe that was stretched out for several blocks and stored along Searcy Creek Parkway.

The new pipe will connect to the Buckeye pump station that pushes wastewater from north of the Missouri river to the Blue River Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“When the new pipe is fully ready, it will provide more volume and a more reliable pump station,” said KC Water Director, Terry Leeds.

For more information, please contact Heather Frierson, Media Relations Coordinator, at, 816-513-0280.


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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