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KC Water Keeps an Eye on Local Creeks, Streams, & Rivers

Posted on December 20, 2017

(Kansas City, Mo.) – Because the Missouri River is where Kansas City gets its drinking water, the health of local creeks and streams is vitally important to KC Water.

Several times a year, KC Water Senior Environmental Officer Jing Tao and Environmental Compliance Officer Michael Radabaugh wade into local waters with containers and tools to measure water quality. They check for E.coli, solids, metals, and other contaminants. Samples go to KC Water’s laboratory and the results are sent to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. KC Water is required to do this work to protect water quality across the city.

Since Radabaugh started water testing in 2014, he’s seen one problem get worse: trash. “There’s more litter and more solids in the water than in 2014 because people throw out their cigarette butts and plastic bags get shredded,” said Radabaugh

Everyone plays a role in protecting water quality, so please don’t litter, bag up all yard waste, and avoid applying too much lawn fertilizer. “What you overdo on your yard, will end up in the stream,” said Tao.

Something else to consider, polluted water also affects wildlife.

“The litter bags you throw out with all your McDonald’s pollutes the water. The deer, the raccoons, the opossums, and the other things that have to drink out of this water are getting all that stuff leached into their water,” said Radabaugh. “So, if you don’t want it in your water, why would they want it in their water?”

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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