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KC Water begins construction on new facility

New cost-effective, environmentally friendly processes
KC Water
Posted at 8:54 AM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 09:55:01-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — KC Water announced the construction of a new renewable resource facility, costing $150 million.

That price tag, according to KC Water, won't increase rates.

The Blue River Biosolids Improvements Facility will implement new cost-effective and environmentally friendly processes for removing solid waste.

"Increasingly our industry is finding out we can recycle those materials and what we want to do with this project is we want to be able to turn into what is called a biosolid, which means it is suitable for re-use and actually marketing and re-sale because we treated it to very high standards as allowed by state and federal government," explained Matt Bond, KC Water deputy director of engineering and compliance.

Bond also said the new facility will cut down on dangerous emissions.

"We’re reducing greenhouse gases. Reducing our use of water and then making sure we can reuse that product so it’s more of a resource recovery project than it is a waste disposal project," he explained.

Biosolids and biomethane can be used safely as a soil conditioner and as fertilizer on farms, and they can also be used to produce energy.

"It's incredibly gratifying to know what we do every day behind the scenes, underneath the road, in buildings that are deep in the ground, we go about our business to make sure it's not something that is a high-profile activity. We're an older city, we have older infrastructure, and we have a lot of bases to cover to ensure all of those components are working all of the time, 24-seven," said Brent Herring, KC Water's wastewater treatment division manager.

As KC Water begins construction on the new facility, due to be completed in 2024, the value of wastewater continues to generate interest during the pandemic.

In Kansas, they're expanding the capacity to test wastewater for the coronavirus. In Missouri, they're studying the prevalence of the COVID-19 variants in wastewater.