Unlike many other cities across the United States, Kansas City is in a fortunate position when it comes to water supply. The Missouri River provides an abundance of water flowing through the metropolitan area — more than enough to provide for Kansas City’s drinking and irrigation needs, without the need for water restrictions.
But during hot, dry summers and periods of unexpected drought, the KC Water division will put the kibosh on your watering plans. While the city can usually handle its water needs, you’ll want to keep your eyes and ears open for news of any watering restrictions in Kansas City, Mo.
The city treats and distributes water to 170,000 residences and businesses in greater Kansas City, as well as 32 wholesale customers in the metro area. The water division is now working on system development plans for expected growth within the region.
Municipalities within a short drive from KC are likely to have watering restrictions when water treatment facilities hit their near-capacity for several days in a row. This sometimes happens in Gardner, Kansas. When the Hillsdale Water Treatment Facility operates at more than 90 percent capacity for five days straight, Gardner will issue the following mandatory water cutbacks:
Lawn watering and car washing for even-numbered addresses are OK in Gardner before 10 a.m. and after 9 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Homeowners whose addresses end in odd numbers may water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. When it comes to refilling a swimming pool, you can do that only one evening a week after sunset. Want to completely fill a privately owned pool? That will have to wait until the city lifts the watering ban.
Nearby Cameron, Mo., has seen its share of drought during the last few summers. Even with four reservoirs, mandatory water restrictions go into effect during these droughts and high usage. Cameron is part of the Tri-State Water Resource Coalition, which is building new water lines for surrounding areas.
It’s easy to forget that water is a precious resource. There are several ways to preserve this liquid gold:
- Replace leaking toilets and their flappers. Silent leaks can waste from 30 to 500 gallons a day, according to the Jackson County Public Water Supply District.
- Inspect the water heater, ice maker, refrigerator, outdoor and indoor faucets, and showers for leaks.
- Wash full loads of laundry and dishes.
- Cut down on shower time.
- Turn the water off while brushing your teeth and shaving.
- Water grass and gardens in the early morning or late evening., and only two or three times a week.
- Plant drought-tolerant grass and plants. You can xeriscape using native flowers and plants. Mulch flower and shrubbery beds keep moisture close to the ground and prevent it from evaporating in hot sunlight.
- Wash the car with a bucket of soapy water and then rinse it with the hose. Point the hose in the direction of the lawn.
A single person uses about 100 gallons of water a day to drink, bathe, perform personal hygiene, and clean their house. That number goes up significantly when you water the lawn or fill the swimming pool.
The best reason to conserve water is so that we don’t run out. This is a community-wide effort because it’s easy to assume the tap will continue to flow, even in severe drought. Your water company does its best to fulfill demand, but it cannot control the weather. Another reason to cut back on water and energy usage is more tangible. Who doesn’t want lower utility bills?
Kansas City Water
Your water division is working on long-term projects to improve the water main lines. Updating the infrastructure of KC includes improving sewers and wastewater treatment. The city gets its drinking water from the Missouri River and surrounding floodplain. It’s cleaned and sanitized from lawn fertilizers, oil, dirt, pet waste and whatever other pollutants it picks up along the way.
If you have questions about Kansas City tap water, or if there are restrictions in place, the division is open during regular business hours.
Do you have questions about lawn care and gardening in Kansas City? Visit our Kansas City lawn care page.