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KC Water Invited to Apply for Federal Loans for Crucial Infrastructure Upgrade

Posted on November 8, 2018

(Kansas City, Mo.) – A new, innovative process to treat wastewater in Kansas City is one step closer to reality. After a competitive application process, KC Water recently received an invitation from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to apply for Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loans.

Of the 62 letters of interest submitted to the EPA, KC Water was one of 39 projects in 16 states and D.C. chosen by the WIFIA Selection Committee. Together, the selected borrowers will receive WIFIA loans totaling approximately $5 billion to help finance over $10 billion in water infrastructure investments and create up to 155,000 jobs.

The Water Resources Development Act of 2014 (WRDA) established the WIFIA loan program in 2017. It authorizes the EPA to provide federal credit assistance – in the form of capital loans – to a range of drinking water and wastewater projects.

“This invitation from the EPA is the result of many water organizations working together to put into place a funding mechanism that supports the water industry,” said KC Water Director Terry Leeds. “We appreciate the backing of the National Association Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), Water Environment Federation (WEF), Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), and American Water Works Association (AWWA) as we continue to make investments in Kansas City’s wastewater treatment system. We look forward to applying for this loan and getting started on this very important project.”

KC Water plans to apply for up to $49 million to help fund the transition from incineration to Thermal Hydrolysis Process (THP) at its Blue River Wastewater Treatment Facility. When completed, the facility will be one of just nine plants in the United States to use this process.

THP replaces the incinerator system with a 2-step pressure cooking-type process that will pretreat the solids prior to anaerobic digestion to produce Class A biosolids safe for use on gardens and farm fields while providing biogas to help fuel the plant’s boilers and provide a supplemental source of heat and energy. THP also reduces the amount of waste solids that need to be disposed of in landfills. And, THP helps reduce odorous emissions from the wastewater facility and during transport of biosolids to the ultimate agricultural reuse sites.

KC Water’s Blue River Wastewater Treatment Plant, where the majority of the City’s biosolids are treated, was built in 1966. It uses aging and increasingly unreliable infrastructure to dispose of the biological solids collected from wastewater. Converting to THP transforms wastewater treatment with 21st century technology.

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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