(Kansas City, Mo.) – It’s no secret Kansas City’s infrastructure is in need of investment. A recent sinkhole at a local restaurant shows the problem.
“We had an emergency failure on an old stormwater pipe. It’s an 84” pipe that rusted away and created a big sink hole here in the parking lot of Peachtree Buffet on Eastwood Trafficway and Ararat Drive,” said KC Water Stormwater Engineer Bob Davis.
This isn’t a new problem. Last summer, KC Water discovered a rusted stormwater pipe near St. Joseph Medical Center in south Kansas City. Workers used a geopolymer liner to keep it in service at a cost of $228,000. The repair bill for the recent work along Ararat Drive was $143,000.
The only funds available to complete this work come from the stormwater fee. Customers pay 50-cents per 500 square feet of impervious surface on their property. The average monthly cost $2.50.
“This is a storm sewer system and we only have a limited storm sewer budget. We have a lot of aging pipe throughout the city and we don’t have the funds to replace it,” said Davis.
Until more funding is available, KC Water will continue to make strategic and careful decisions to maintain the stormwater system.
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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.