Water Pollution Control effectively manages all assets and facilities in order to meet the various state and regulatory requirements, which serve to protect public health and our environment. We work diligently to provide 24-hour wastewater services to our customers. We treat our wastewater to properly remove 95-99% of wastewater pollutants before returning clean water back to the Missouri River. Under the Partial Consent Decree,(PDF, 1MB) the Unified Government was required to improve operations at the Kaw Point Wastewater Treatment Plant. Improvements included biosolids dewatering to meet air quality regulations and the construction of a UV disinfection facility to reduce effluent bacteria concentrations into the Missouri River.
The Clean Water Act of 1972 provides regulations for both combined and separate sewer systems. When it rains, the combined sewer system receives wastewater and an influx of stormwater. With an abundance of stormwater entering the sewer system at once, it can reach its capacity, overflow, and release a mixture of stormwater and wastewater into our environment. A certain amount of combined sewer overflows is allowed with limitations on the amount and the frequency of it occurring. However, we are working to drastically reduce these types of overflows through our Integrated Overflow Control Program.(PDF, 725KB)
As for the separate sewer system, the law does not permit the separate sewer system to overflow since the stormwater should not enter the wastewater pipe to begin with. Nevertheless, there are instances where stormwater gets into the wastewater pipe through cracks and leaks. When stormwater gets into the wastewater pipe, the system can overflow out of manholes or drains. We are working to eliminate these types of overflows through an aggressive Sewer Repair Program to repair and rehabilitate our wastewater pipes, in addition to the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant, which will significantly relieve our separate sewer system.
Our stormwater runoff picks up pollutants such as trash, debris, pesticides, oils, and dirt that can harm our waterways. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater program regulates some stormwater discharges from three potential sources:
- Municipal separate storm systems (MS4s)
- Construction activities
- Industrial activities
The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas is required to obtain an NPDES permit before discharging stormwater to local waterways. The MS4 permit requires the Unified Government to report the status of compliance with permit conditions, assess the appropriateness of UG’s best management practices, and explain progress toward achieving measurable goals for each of the six minimum control measures. Our MS4 permit is regulated by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). Additionally, we have a Stormwater Management Plan (SMP) that is regulated by the EPA and KDHE. The SMP includes items such as public outreach, construction site runoff control, industrial activity management, and a wet weather monitoring program.