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Water Services unveils $48M disinfection improvements project

Posted on October 5, 2012

(Kansas City, Mo.) —Today the Water Services Department (WSD) conducted a groundbreaking for the effluent disinfection improvements project at the Blue River Wastewater Treatment Plant, Kansas City’s largest wastewater treatment facility. WSD Director Terry Leeds presided over the groundbreaking, which included remarks from Mayor Sly James, and City Council Member Jan Marcason. The $48 million project is one component of a $96 million overall investment by WSD to improve the quality of the water returned to area waterways.

“We continue to keep faith with the voters of Kansas City by moving forward with projects they have overwhelmingly approved. This project, backed by voter approved bonds, will increase our capacity to treat wastewater, put our citizens to work, and make the Missouri River safer for our children. It is a smart project, a sound project, and a project that solves an immediate problem. Cities are America’s economic engine, and we are proving we are a city on the move. This may not be the sexiest project, but it shows that in Kansas City we take our responsibility to the future seriously and are making the investments needed to be a world class city,” said Mayor Sly James.

Project plans include the construction of three chemical terminal facilities. Combined, these facilities will store, distribute, and move necessary supplies for wastewater treatment at Blue River and at two additional treatment plants in Kansas City. The project will meet heightened state requirements for wastewater disinfection, and is part of Water Services’ 25-year federally-mandated Overflow Control Program.

“Water Services is excited to kick-off this important project at the Blue River Wastewater Treatment Plant,” said Terry Leeds, WSD Director. “This project maximizes the efficiencies of Department operations, decreases long-term operational and maintenance costs, and will enhance the quality of water returned to the environment.”

The Blue River effluent disinfection improvement project is the last and largest disinfection project underway for the Department’s six wastewater treatment facilities. Once complete, WSD will have invested a total of $96 million in effluent disinfection improvements across all six of the City’s wastewater treatment plants. The Blue River Wastewater Treatment Plant has served as Kansas City’s largest effluent treatment plant since its construction in 1962. On average, the plant manages the flow of 72 million gallons of wastewater daily.

Disinfection is a process that destroys, inactivates, or removes micro-organisms, thus making the water useful again. Once the water is disinfected using chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite, the water is no longer considered “wastewater.” Sodium hypochlorite is a compound that reduces pathogens, provides oxidation, and helps control odor.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Kincaid at, or 816.513.0284.


The Kansas City, Mo., Water Services Department maintains and operates water collection, processing and distribution systems, stormwater management and control systems, and wastewater collection and processing systems for residential and business customers in Kansas City and for wholesale customers in the Kansas City region. Operation is funded by fees charged to customers based on their use of products and services.