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KC Water’s Valve Exercising Program Making Significant Progress

Posted on April 12, 2017

(Kansas City, Mo.) – On March 27th, a 130-year old water main burst near 16th and Baltimore. The rushing water and debris shut down the KC Streetcar for several hours, but no customers were left without water.

That’s due to working valves. “We were able to close the two closest valves and isolate the water main which kept anybody from being without water,” said KC Water Utility Supervisor of Leak Investigations Wayne Dennis.

In 2011, just over half of the valves in the city were operable. After five years of working with Wachs Water Services, a private company that specializes in valve asset management, that figure climbed to 84%, a 34% increase.

KC Water recently started another five-year contract with Wachs to continue the momentum.

Also assigned to checking valves are KC Water maintenance workers Tony Hammons and Yuseff Oladpio.

“We clean it out, exercise it, and see if it’s broken or anything like that. Then after we service it, come back, we write it up,” said Hammons.

There are more than 35,000 valves across Kansas City. They control the water that’s flowing through 2,800 miles of underground water mains.

“The more valves we have in the water system the better chance we have to make smaller shuts which will help fewer people be out of water,” said Dennis.

This work is another example of KC Water’s continuing commitment to improve the infrastructure of Kansas City.

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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