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KC Water Uses Trenchless Technology to Prevent Tearing Up Roads and Railroad Tracks

Posted on November 30, 2016

(Kansas City, Mo.) – Hidden beneath the railroad tracks near Union Station and the Freight House District parking lot is a giant sewer main. It’s six feet tall and is made of bricks that were hand laid in 1883. After more than 130 years, it needs to be fixed.

Instead of tearing up the roads and disrupting rail traffic, both of which are costly options, KC Water is using technology to get the job done underground.

“We are using a trenchless technology that is called cured in place pipe. The purpose is to extend the life of the existing sewer that collects both storm and wastewater,” explains project manager Khoa Nguyen.

Crews begin at a manhole and feed a felt liner through the pipe. For this project the pipe is more than 600 feet long, so there’s a truck load of liner. They fill the liner with resin then ever so slowly and carefully push it through. The liner moves only about one foot every four minutes.

Once in place, the liner is cured with either steam or hot water and it becomes as strong as a new PVC pipe. Then it’s ready for another 50-75 years, at least.

This technology is used on large and small projects. It saves money and time, and reduces the impact on customers. It’s yet another example of how KC Water is using innovative technology to save customers millions of dollars to renew underground infrastructure critical to today’s customers and future generations.

The work taking place in the parking lot of Lidia’s restaurant is a major part of a Crossroads area sewer main and manhole rehabilitation project that essentially runs from Truman Road to the KC Terminal Railway tracks near Union Station. This will extend the life of the sewer mains in this area and help prevent sewer backups.

For more information, please contact Brooke Givens, Media Relations Coordinator, 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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