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Small Water Main Replacement Program Improves Service for Nearly 12,000 Customers

Posted on September 10, 2013

(Kansas City, Mo.) – Kansas City Water Services recently broke ground on the final two Small Main Replacement (SMR) projects, which will complete the City’s 16-year, $75 million Small Main Replacement Program aimed at improving water service and system reliability for nearly 12,000 customers, many of whom were previously served by small, two-inch waterlines. The final two projects, which are taking place in northern Kansas City and will be completed by the summer of 2014, will feature the replacement of approximately 13 miles of small water mains and the installation of 120 additional fire hydrants.

“Replacing older, unreliable two-inch waterlines for our customers not only reduces the likelihood of a water main break, but it also improves service to our customers by providing more consistent water pressure and improved fire protection,” said Terry Leeds, Water Services Director. “This infrastructure investment will enhance many of our customers’ daily lives and will serve us for generations to come.”

Highlights of the soon-to-be-completed 16-year, $75 million SMR Program include:

  •  The replacement of 130 miles of small water mains, which has improved service and reliability for customers; and
  •  The installation of approximately 1,200 fire hydrants, which has improved fire protection throughout Kansas City.

Service improvements for customers include:

  • New, larger pipes will result in fewer waterline breaks, meaning fewer service outages;
  • Water pressure will be more stable as a result of the newer, larger pipes; and
  • The addition of new fire hydrants, which the previous small water mains could not support, will result in improved fire protection throughout Kansas City.

Prior to the SMR Program, small under-sized waterlines served customers in several portions of the city. Due in part to their age and size, these two-inch waterlines were prone to breaks and resulted in reduced water pressure for customers. As part of an ongoing commitment to deliver quality water services to the Kansas City community, Water Services has replaced these smaller waterlines with larger pipes, improving service reliability to customers and enhancing fire protection. Most of the city already has larger water mains, but to the 12,000 customers previously served by small water mains, the SMR Program has made a difference in their daily lives.

“The Small Main Replacement Program is part of Water Services’ strategic and data-driven plan to improve Kansas City’s infrastructure,” said Councilman Russ Johnson, Chair of the City Council’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “Our residents can clearly see the improvements made as a result of the successful completion of this program.”

For more information, please contact Jennifer Kincaid, 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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