Kansas City is known for having an abundance of beautiful fountains, enough to match the allure of well-known cities in Europe. But with an aging combined sanitary sewer and storm water sewer systems throughout much of the urban core, there are many problems caused by increased storm water runoff during heavy rainstorms. The city has faced the growing need to address and reduce the burden caused by increased storm water runoff. With the need to explore other solutions, the city is setting an agenda to use alternative resolutions to off-set storm water runoff. In combination with the traditional functioning of concrete pipes and tanks, the goal is to meet the overall required capacity needed for acceptable storm water management systems.
Kansas City’s Overflow Control Plan will be actualized over a period of 25 years and cost an estimated $2.4 billion. It has been designed to meet regulatory requirements established by the Environmental Protection Agency and Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources to reduce and prevent sewer overflows. When this project is complete, there will be a reduction of approximately 88% of the current number of overflows throughout the entire city. The effective use of green solutions can reduce the size and cost of more customary solutions, which includes concrete pipes used to move storm water offsite and towards the wastewater treatment plant. Another noteworthy strategy will be the introduction of curb extensions, which have been added on several side streets within the city. The purpose is to reduce the quantity of water flowing into the intersections, and similarly, reduce the amount of runoff going into the storm sewer systems.