Glitch led to delay to fix Westport water main

Posted at 4:55 PM, Jan 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-22 19:01:21-05

The once 4-foot gaping hole at Ronoake and Westport Road is now filled with gravel surrounded by a couple of cones.  

Witnesses say it was strange to see standing water because it was not raining Thursday afternoon.

When Jessica Christman, co-owner of 825 Studios, pulled up to her Westport business around 12:30 Thursday afternoon, it was her neighbors who alerted her about water pouring into their basements.

She says she called Kansas City Water Services at least four times, but it took crews hours to finally arrive and shut off the water.

"All we could do is sit there and watch our stuff float at that point because we already lost what we had lost, because the water rose so quickly," Christman said.

She, along with other neighbors, said Water Services’ response was too slow.

KC Water blames a computer glitch. “Although the first call reporting the break happened at 12:11, because of a software failure, the service request wasn't generated until 2:00," it said.

This particular water main was originally installed in 1905 is scheduled to be replaced in 2022 as part of KC Water's water main replacement program.

Christman also says part of the problem, she believes, is that the infrastructure needs to be updated.

"I know Westport's old. It's been here for a really really long time. But some more maintenance would be fantastic around here," she said.

The city has since told Christman they will be repairing or replacing everything to ensure the businesses are operational as quickly as possible.

Between repairs and equipment, Christman estimates they are seeing at least $60,000 in damages.

Mayor Sly James in a press conference Thursday from the White House acknowledged the necessity for proper infrastructure. “The businesses that reside are very keen on the infrastructure available to them and the impact to conduct business.” 


Jane Monreal can be reached at

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