KC Water is now working on a $100 million project designed to protect the environment and get rid of an awful smell.

Anyone driving along Interstate 435 by the Blue River probably knows the sight and the smell of KC Water’s wastewater treatment center.

That’s because right now they use incinerators to burn the waste that goes down the drain.

KC Water Chief Engineering Officer Matt Bond said those incinerators were built in the 1960s and now they are failing.

“I had known about this facility for quite a while,” said Bond, who joined KC Water in 2017. “I knew it was one of the biggest problems or challenges we had.”

The current system cannot handle the constant flow of waste, and landfills are turning it away.

“The plant really becomes constipated, and you can’t really do anything else,” Bond said.

Now, they’re in the design phase of a new $100 million project to change that, building new stacks that act as pressure cookers. It’ll keep the waste and smell enclosed and turn it into something usable — and possibly sellable — in the future.

“We just decided that this time we need to change out everything — new modern technology,” Bond said.

It likely won’t be done until 2022, but when the buildings, known as digesters, are upgraded the backup and the stench will be gone.

“It’s an expensive project, but because of the sustainable aspects of it, it’s the right thing to do,” Bond said.

Bond said bills won’t see more than the standard yearly increase because KC Water just recently got approved for state and federal funding that they say should save $35 million.

Source: William Joy, KC Water says $100 million plan will help stench, environment near waste treatment plant (2019, Feb. 20), KMBC News.
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