Wichita water plant resource center

A resource of information about the new Wichita Water Treatment Plant in northwest Wichita. Send suggestions for additions to bob.weeks@gmail.com.

This document has three sections:

The last update was Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

Websites and online

  • Wichita Water Information Hub
    A web page maintained by the City of Wichita. “Welcome to the dedicated information source for the Northwest Water Treatment Facility. Here we will provide a reliable source of project updates including frequently asked questions and share progress.”
    Link to page is wichita.gov/pwu/nwwf/Pages/default.aspx.

  • Wichita Water Works
    A website by Wichita Water partners, the group of companies selected to build the new water plant.
    Link to website is wichitawaterworks.com.


  • December 3, 2019. Northwest Water Facility Project and 2020 Rate Adjustments.
    A presentation by Public Works & Utilities to the Wichita City Council.
    Link to document is here.

  • November 26, 2019. Northwest Wichita Water Facility (NWWF) Recommended Path Forward.
    A presentation by Public Works & Utilities to the Wichita City Council. Gives history of selection process. Recommends city select Wichita Water Partners for Phase 2 at cost of $494.2 million.
    Link to document is here.

  • November 19, 2019. Northwest Wichita Water Facility (NWWF) Oversight Steering Committee.
    A presentation by Public Works & Utilities. Holds staff recommendation of Wichita Water Partners.
    Link to document is here.

  • October 24, 2019. Task force presentation by Wichita Water Partners.
    Link to document is here.

  • Ocober 11, 2019. Task force presentation by Wichita Water Partners.
    Link to document is here.

  • February 12, 2019. Northwest Water Treatment Facility Project.
    A presentation by Public Works & Utilities to the Wichita City Council.
    Link to document is here.

  • December 18, 2018. Northwest Water Treatment Facility Project.
    A presentation by Public Works & Utilities to the Wichita City Council. This presented the recommendation to award a phase 1 contract to Jacobs Engineering.
    Link to document is here.

  • June 13, 2017. Utilities Optimization Workshop. A presentation by Public Works Utilities to the city council. Link to document here.

  • February 2017. Utilities Optimization Program. A report prepared by CH2M HILL Engineers, Inc. Quoting from the introduction:
    Throughout the United States, aging infrastructure, financial constraints, and increasingly strict regulatory requirements have created challenges for cities and utility managers to meet the expectations of their customers. To provide reliable and high-quality service to customers, cities must be willing to adequately invest in improvements to facilities, as well as the operations and maintenance (O&M) of those facilities. Asset management has become increasingly popular as cities seek more effective ways to determine investment priorities. Asset management generates a rigorous decision-making process based on quantifiable risk, which can result in more sustainable and consistent decisions about investment and maintenance procedures. Proper application of asset management can lead to better management of utilities, including lowering life-cycle costs, improving levels of service, andreducing risk.
    Proper asset management involves sufficiently identifying the condition of assets, determining levels of service that need to be achieved, and financially planning for improvement projects using decision frameworks and business case analyses; it also involves assessing assets, evaluating organizational goals, and prioritizing investment decisions based on defendable and objective data. Defining levels of service helps to establish the overarching goals of the organization and may include regulatory compliance, public and employee health and safety, and economic sustainability. By identifying levels of service that align the needs of the customer with those of the utility, cities can establish practices that achieve the levels of service in a way that encourages improvement and public confidence.
    Comprehensive asset management programs have enabled other leading water and wastewater utilities, governmental agencies, and private sector companies around the world to better manage their assets, reduce cost, and introduce innovative methods and technologies into their organizations. The City of Wichita (the City) Public Works and Utilities Department (PW&U) hired CH2M HILL Engineers, Inc. (CH2M) to assist with evaluating risk, asset, and staffing management of their water and sewer utilities in order to establish a long-term investment strategy.
    The report consists of a document plus appendices.
    Asset Management Plan. Link
    Appendix A: Current Utility Situational Analysis. Link
    Appendix B: Asset Condition Assessment and Capital Improvement Program. Link
    Appendix C: Operations and Maintenance Report. Link
    Appendix D: Water and Wastewater Financial Report. Link
    Appendix E: Northwest Water Treatment Business Case Evaluation. Link
    Appendix F: Northwest Water Treatment Plant Value for Money Analysis. Link
    Appendix G: Wastewater Treatment Business Case Evaluation. Link
    Appendix H: Decision Support Tool Report. Link
    Appendix I: Management Proposal. Link

  • July 2017. 2016 Water and Sewer Master Plans.
    Link to document is here.

  • September 2015. City of Wichita NW WTP Land Use Study.
    Prepared by Professional Engineering Consultants. Quoting: The City of Wichita acquired property located southeast of 21 st Street West and Zoo Boulevard for location of a future water treatment plant (WTP). In preparation for a water treatment plant, the city constructed a 66″ raw water line and 36″ finished water line with future connection tees on the west side of the property. The city has been approached by an entity interested in purchasing a 10-acre tract in the northwest corner of the property, an area approximately 600′ x 700′. The city commissioned this study to determine first if the existing pond area could be filled in for construction of structures, and second to determine the estimated costs for construction of a 60 MGD reverse osmosis WTP on the property.
    This study included the following general tasks: Geotechnical investigations to determine soil materials at the site, depth to groundwater, and composition of the pond; Permitting review to establish potential local, state, and federal permits required to construct on the site; Preliminary layout of structures and yard piping connections for a 60 MGD reverse osmosis WTP on the existing site and with the pond filled in and the 10 acres removed; Development of 1 % planning level cost estimates for each of the two layout options.
    Link to document is here.

  • July 22, 2014. Strategic Plan Implementation Timetable.
    Created by the City of Wichita. “Develop a plan that addresses: A. New water sources; B. Conservation strategies; C. Reuse opportunities for industry; D. Emphasize water as a priority with the State and Congressional delegation; E. Work with area communities to ensure water is also a priority for them.”
    Link to document is here.

  • March 2014. Report on the Main Water Treatment Plant Improvements.
    Prepared for City of Wichita Water Utilities by Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc., Kansas City, Missouri. This document presents an evaluation of the main water treatment plant and presents several scenarios for improving the existing plant, as well as an option for constructing a new plant. “The purpose of this study is to identify the improvements necessary to treat only groundwater (primarily from the Equus Beds Well Field) at the Main Water Treatment Plant (WTP). This study includes a description and results of bench-scale and full-scale testing of the Main WTP to further assess treatment limitations, develops alternatives for process modifications to improve treatment flexibility, and evaluates existing chemical feed systems.”
    Link to document is here.

News and opinion

  • July 12, 2020 Wichita Eagle
    Wichita’s nearly $1 billion water and sewer overhaul could be finished by 2027
    Wichita is moving dirt for a new water treatment facility and planning to upgrade its sewage treatment plant by 2027 in a nearly $1 billion infrastructure overhaul. The Northwest Water Treatment Facility — near the Sedgwick County Zoo at 21st and Hoover — is still being designed by Wichita Water Partners, a group of contractors awarded the project in a controversial selection process. The new plant is needed to replace the city’s existing plant, which is 80 years old and has a high risk of failure, city officials have said. After rushing to approve the contract with a single bidder, and amid questions about the selection process, the city waited to close on a $280.9 million loan from the Environmental Protection Agency before moving forward with site clearing and construction. The EPA loan and additional funding from the State Revolving Fund Loan program are expected to cover around 99% of the $602 million project. On the sewage side, Wichita plans to apply for another federal loan to help fund more than $355 million in sewage treatment upgrades, called the Biological Nutrient Removal project. The project is expected to cut down on the raw-sewage stench that permeates from the existing plants and help clean up the Arkansas River, where the city dumps its treated wastewater.
    Link to article at archive.org here.

  • April 13, 2020 Voice for Liberty
    Wichita water plant financing on agenda

The Wichita city council will consider borrowing $280 million from the federal government, and also consider issuing bonds of up to $331 million to repay the loan.

Tomorrow the Wichita City Council will consider approving a large portion of the financing for the new Northwest Water Facility (NWWF).

The financing comes from the United States Government through a program called Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), which is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The amount of financing is $280,860,714, which is 49 percent of the total cost of the plant. A loan from the State of Kansas is expected to cover 48 percent of the cost of the plant, so between these two sources, nearly the entire plant is financed. The state loan is expected to be considered by the council in August or September.

Repayment of the WIFIA loan will begin in 2029 and continue until 2059. Because of the attractive terms of the loan program, EPA estimates the city will save $69,069,005 over regular municipal bond financing.

City documents state that the interest rate on the WIFIA loan is set “by adding 0.01% to the rate for state and local government securities with a similar length of repayment.” This contradicts information from EPA and CRS, with CRS stating, “WIFIA provides credit assistance, namely direct loans, at U.S. Treasury rates, potentially lowering the cost of capital for borrowers.” See EPA summary and the Congressional Research Service in Water Infrastructure Financing: The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program.

Of note, while the summary documents provided by the city cite a loan amount of $280,860,714, it is important to realize that this is “capitalized interest excluded.” In an ordinance the council will consider Tuesday, there is this language: “… the City proposes to issue and deliver to the WIFIA Credit Provider a revenue bond in the principal amount not to exceed $331,000,000 (the ‘WIFIA Bond’).” The difference between the two amounts, about $50 million, is capitalized interest. The $331 million figure is not mentioned in the agenda report or the executive summary.

The city has provided these documents in the agenda packet:

  • Agenda Report No. V-1 (Revised).docx (link)
  • Executive Summary for NWWF Financing 4-14-2020.pdf (link)
  • Basic Docs 2020B (WIFIA).pdf (link)
  • WIFIA Credit Agreement 4.7.20 – to City.pdf (link)

Link to story here.

  • December 3, 2019 Wichita Eagle
    Wichita council approves $500 million water plant contract; calls rebid ‘too risky’
    Wichita City Council moved forward with plans to build a new water treatment plant Tuesday, awarding a $500 million contract to Wichita Water Partners. The group includes two companies that spent thousands of dollars on Mayor Jeff Longwell’s golf outings and meals before he steered the contract in their favor. City Council members voted unanimously to award the contract — the biggest single contract in the city’s history — saying they didn’t want to risk losing federal funding for the project and that they weren’t sure if any other companies would bid on the project. None of the council members mentioned Longwell’s relationships or gifts, which became a key election issue. They did say they have been fielding questions from concerned citizens since The Wichita Eagle reported Longwell’s relationships with some of the water partners in September. “It’s been, in some weird ways, nice to have all the engagement that we’ve had,” Council member James Clendenin said. “Normally we don’t have citizens that are this engaged in things such as water infrastructure,” he said.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • December 1, 2019. Voice for Liberty.
    Wichita should consider discarding the water plant contract in order to salvage its reputation and respect for process.
    Link to article is here.

  • November 27, 2019 Wichita Eagle
    City Council could approve final version of Wichita water plant contract next week
    The Wichita City Council is scheduled to decide Tuesday whether to keep its contract with Wichita Water Partners for the Northwest Water Treatment Facility. The city plans to spend about $602 million on the project, and at least $500 million of that would go to Wichita Water Partners, a consortium of local and out-of-state contractors headed by Missouri firms Burns & McDonnell and Alberici Constructors, to design and build the new water plant. Alan King, Wichita’s director of Public Works and Utilities, said water customers can expect a “very high quality” water treatment plant. The city’s existing facility is 80 years old and is vulnerable to failure. Because the plant wasn’t designed with the necessary redundancies, a major failure at the plant could leave 500,000 people without water. The new plant should fix that problem, King said.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • November 19, 2019 Wichita Eagle
    Wichita plans to spend $602 million on new water plant project
    The total cost of Wichita’s new water treatment plant project could top $602 million, the city told the Environmental Protection Agency in a federal loan application. And water rates are expected to continue increasing for the foreseeable future, city projections show.
    Wichita needs a new water treatment plant because its existing plant is 80 years old and could fail at any moment, city officials have said. Of the $602 million the city now plans to spend, at least $500 million would go to Wichita Water Partners, a consortium of national and local contractors that’s designing and building the Northwest Water Treatment Facility.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • October 23, 2019 Voice for Liberty
    Wichita water planning in 2014, and now
    In 2014 the City of Wichita advised spending millions on a water project, but it wasn’t for the main water treatment plant replacement, and it wasn’t financed with debt. The city tells us it has been planning for a new water plant for many years. This summer the Wichita Eagle reported: “Until recently, not much has been done about building a new plant. It was first identified as a need for the city in 1993. Two years later, Wichita bought land for it near 21st and Zoo Boulevard. But the city didn’t start searching for construction funding until after the assessment in 2017.” In 2014, however, the city’s attention was focused, at least partly, on water issues. But it wasn’t the main water treatment plant that was of concern. Instead, the city was worried about drought protection and the conservation measures that might be imposed during an extended drought.
    Link to article here.

  • October 11, 2019 Wichita Eagle
    Contractors promise cost of new water plant will not top $508 million
    Wichita Water Partners told the city Friday that it will design and build Wichita’s new water treatment plant for $508.1 million — or less. That’s lower than the $524 million projected by the city in 2016, but significantly higher than the public was led to believe during previous discussions about the project. Cost savings was one of the City Council’s justifications for changing the selection criteria that ultimately led to the project being awarded to Wichita Water Partners instead of Jacobs Engineering, a more experienced team picked unanimously by a selection committee. The $524 million estimate included operating the plant for two to five years after it was finished. That portion of the project was dropped late last year when the City Council approved changing the criteria for the project.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • October 9, 2019 Wichita Eagle
    Wichita water plant decision delayed until after election
    Wichita’s new water plant has fallen behind schedule, delaying a City Council decision on whether to keep its contract with Wichita Water Partners until well after the November election. Wichita Water Partners, a team lead by Burns & McDonnell and Alberici, was supposed to design 30% of the plant and come up with a final cost estimate by Oct. 4, according to its contract with the city. The City Council was scheduled to approve that cost at the end of October and authorize Wichita Water Partners to start building the plant. Instead, that decision will likely be delayed until December or later. Last Thursday, one day before the work was due, City Manager Robert Layton approved a 75-day extension at Wichita Water Partners’ request, moving the due date to Dec. 18.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • October 1, 2019. Voice for Liberty.
    When pursuing a large Wichita city contract, did the winning company lobby all council members, or primarily Mayor Jeff Longwell?
    Link to article is here.

  • September 29, 2019 Wichita Eagle
    Wichita’s mayor steered multi-million-dollar water plant contract to friends
    Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell steered what could become the largest contract in the city’s history to his political supporters, golf partners and friends, a Wichita Eagle investigation has revealed. The city plans to spend about $524 million to build a new plant to treat drinking water. Its 80-year-old plant could fail at any moment, officials have said, leaving 500,000 people without water. How the project is handled will affect how much residents pay for water — and the quality of that water — for generations to come. A city selection committee unanimously recommended awarding the contract to Jacobs Engineering, one of the nation’s leading design firms that specializes in water treatment plants. Instead, at Longwell’s urging, the City Council gave it to Wichita Water Partners, a group that has less experience designing large water plants. City staff warned that the group was seeking advice on how to run Wichita’s plant from a company blamed for the Flint, Mich., water crisis.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • September 29, 2019 Wichita Eagle
    No, Mayor Longwell: This isn’t the way city business should be done
    It’s disturbing enough that Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell pushed to have the city award a multi-million-dollar contract to his friends and political supporters. It’s disgraceful that, after accepting an invitation to play in a golf tournament with local executives, Longwell pledged in an email, “I’m going to be super nice to you for a long time.” And it’s downright deplorable that some city leaders say that’s “just the way it is” with government business in Wichita. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • August 23, 2019 Wichita Eagle
    It’s sensible to sound the alarm on Wichita’s water system
    We don’t have to imagine what might happen if Wichita’s aging water system shuts down, because we lived it — at least temporarily — about 25 years ago. On a late-September morning in 1995, Wichita residents started the day grumpy and gritty as showers, toilets and faucets across the region stopped working. About 300,000 people were left without water for 12 hours and without water that was safe to drink until the following day.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • August 15, 2019 Wichita Eagle
    Wichita’s vulnerable water system concerns state agency, emails show
    It’s unclear how Wichita plans to provide safe drinking water if its water system shuts down, according to a letter the state’s environmental agency sent the city. The state has not approved the city’s emergency water supply plan, saying the plan does not “define clear options for providing deliverance of treated, safe drinking water to its customers during an emergency which is the purpose of the plan,” according to a July 10 letter to the city. The July letter mentioned that providing bottled water for 500,000 people would not be a viable option. Wichita’s water is safe to drink, tests show, but its treatment plant is 80 years old. The average life expectancy of a water treatment plant is 50 years. An assessment two years ago found that 99% of its parts were in poor or very poor condition, and 100% of the city’s raw water pipes were in very poor condition.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • July 26, 2020. Voice for Liberty.
    A city hall news event sought to counter a news story that highlighted problems with Wichita’s water supply, but it seemed more like a political campaign event.
    Link to article is here.

  • July 25, 2019 Wichita Eagle
    Wichita on track for new water plant in 5 years, city says
    Wichita is on track to receive a $270 million federal loan that would help pay for a new water treatment facility, Director of Public Works and Utilities Alan King said. The loan could save the city more than $70 million and allow the project to break ground by the end of 2020. The Environmental Protection Agency gives loans, called Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, or WIFIA, to repair the country’s crumbling infrastructure.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • July 21, 2019 Wichita Eagle
    Wichita’s water plant: ‘Every hour that thing is running, it could fail’
    Next time water comes out of your tap, don’t take it for granted. Wichita’s only water treatment plant could fail at any moment. “It keeps me awake at night …” said Alan King, Wichita’s director of public works and utilities. “Every hour that thing is running, it could fail — right as we’re talking, right now.” Critical infrastructure at the plant is 80 years old and has outlived its useful life. To fully fix it, the city would have to shut it down. There is no backup. A shutdown or failure could leave about 500,000 people without running water. The affected area includes some of the state’s largest hospitals, multiple fire departments, a fifth of the Kansas economy and a U.S. military base. And a new plant won’t be finished anytime soon — not until 2024 at the earliest. Wichita is applying for loans to pay for it now.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • January 8, 2019 Wichita Eagle
    Get ready to pay more for water, sewer service in Wichita for the next 20-30 years
    Wichita is raising the city’s water rates by 4.15 percent this year while grappling with how to minimize expected yearly rate hikes for the next 20 to 30 years. The rates are rising now and in the future to pay for a new half-billion dollar drinking-water treatment plant and the cost of complying with new regulations for “biological nutrient removal,” a euphemism for getting more of the dirty stuff out of the sewage water before discharging it back into the environment. The current water treatment plant is more than 80 years old. It’s plagued with minor problems already and is at risk of major failure in the near future, city staff has said. This year’s increase will add about $2 to $5 a month to homeowners’ combined water and sewer bills, depending on how much water they use.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • November 21, 2017 Wichita Eagle
    ‘Water torture’: How much will you pay with new rates?
    You’ll pay more for Wichita water and sewer service next year, but city officials are making some changes they hope will help keep bills down in the long run. On Tuesday, the City Council approved about a 6 percent increase in the combined water and sewer rate for 2018.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • December 6, 2016 Wichita Eagle
    Water and sewer rates going up in Wichita
    In Wichita, it will soon cost you more to buy water and more to get rid of it. On Tuesday, the City Council approved a package of water and sewer rate increases totaling $6.3 million. The 2017 water rates will rise 4 percent and sewer rates 5 percent for a combined increase of 4.4 percent, city records show. That translates to a $1.85 increase for a small residential consumer using 3,750 gallons a month and to $4.73 for a residential customer using 15,000 gallons.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • December 6, 2015 Wichita Eagle
    Wichita City Council to vote on water rate increases
    Water and sewer rates are set to rise again for city residents in 2016. The Wichita City Council will choose Tuesday among four different ways the city could charge businesses and homeowners for their water use. Whatever the model, most Wichitans will see their water bills increase by about 5 percent to maintain the city’s water and sewer infrastructure.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • May 12, 2015 Wichita Eagle
    Wichita eyes private-public partnership for water infrastructure costs
    Wichita city officials are considering a new public-private partnership to help pay for an estimated $1.6 billion in water and sewer infrastructure repairs and upgrades. The proposal would allow bids from companies interested in loaning money and expertise to the city as it evaluates the utilities. In exchange, the selected company would receive annual payments from the city. “The whole goal in looking at these public-private partnerships is to see if we can pick up efficiencies in the way that we operate our system and looking at some unique tools that aren’t available to us today that may change our bond indebtedness in the future,” said Mayor Jeff Longwell.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • March 2, 2015 Wichita Eagle: Repairs completed in main line to Wichita water treatment plant. Repairs to the primary pipe feeding water from Cheney Reservoir to Wichita’s water treatment plant have been completed, a city official said Monday. A leak next to the plant was discovered Jan. 21, prompting officials to construct a bypass pipe connecting to the treatment plant. Once the bypass was activated on Jan. 30, city crews drained and inspected the main 66-inch line, portions of which date back to the 1940s. “All of the drinking water that’s treated comes from that pipeline,” said Alan King, director of the city’s public works and utilities department.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • January 22, 2015 Wichita Eagle: Wichita water leak could affect 450,000 customers. A leak in a main water pipe that connects the Equus Beds Aquifer and Cheney Reservoir to Wichita’s water plant could affect all 450,000 Wichita water users, city officials said Thursday evening. Officials don’t know exactly where the leak is in the 66-inch steel pipe, but say there is no impact on the water quality because it’s just pressurized water leaking out, not contamination coming in. Some parts of the line are more than 50 years old, said Alan King, director of public works and utilities.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • December 9, 2014 Wichita Eagle
    Wichita City Council passes rate increases for water and sewer service
    Wichita’s water and sewer rates will increase in 2015 to replace or repair aging pipes and equipment. Included on that list is a 66-inch, 50-year-old sewer main that winds its way near the Arkansas River as it stretches almost three miles from one sewage treatment plant to another.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • December 3, 2014 Wichita Eagle
    Wichita City Council to vote on water rate increases
    Water and sewer rates are expected to rise for Wichita customers starting Jan. 1. The Wichita City Council will vote on proposed increases next Tuesday. The rate increase, which could generate an additional $7.6 million, would help pay for repairs to existing infrastructure and for regulatory compliance projects, public works officials say. The city has more than 4,400 water and sewer lines.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • February 10, 2003 Wichita Eagle: City Plans On Tastier Tap Water — New Plumbing Would Not Eliminate Wichita’s Stinky-water Problems. But It Would Help In The Most Predictable Cases. The city of Wichita is planning to spend $3.5 million to make its tap water smell and taste better at least part of the time. The money will be spent on plumbing changes at the water treatment plant, said David Warren, director of the Water and Sewer Department. Although the new plumbing won’t get rid of all of Wichita’s stinky-water problems, it should solve the most predictable and preventable episodes that occur every spring and fall when the plant undergoes routine maintenance.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • April 30, 2002 Wichita Eagle: Will We Ever Drink From The Arkansas? Wichita Considers Building A Plant To Purify River Water. The muddy brown water in the Arkansas River could eventually be on the way to your kitchen faucet. The city of Wichita, which is always looking for new sources of drinking water, is now looking to the Arkansas to quench the thirst of a city whose consumption is 22 billion gallons a year and rising. This is among several options the city has to provide more water. If the city did nothing, it would run short in about 15 years, as demand outstripped supplies in Cheney Reservoir and the underground Equus Beds.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • November 25, 1995 Wichita Eagle: Wichita Seeks Way To Protect Its Water Preventing Plant’s Shutdown Is Goal. About $500,000 worth of improvements are needed to guard against problems like the ones that shut down the city’s water treatment plant two months ago, says Wichita Water Department director Dave Warren. Just before dawn Sept. 28, a water main with a 48-inch diameter ruptured, causing flooding that short-circuited the electrical substation that powers the water treatment plant in Riverside. As a result, more than 300,000 people got out of bed that morning to find that their showers, toilets and kitchen sinks had stopped working.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • September 30, 1995 Wichita Eagle: Wichita Quenches Water Crisis Temporary Repairs Remain A Concern. While Wichitans are able to drink tap water again, the city’s water system remains a fragile network that is relying on a temporary, patched-together electrical power system. City officials have figured out why Wichita’s entire supply went dry just before dawn on Thursday, but fixing those problems permanently is going to take some time. Until repairs can be completed – sometime in the next two months – water officials are hoping that the quickly installed power system will hold up. “We’ve got a dicey setup on our electrical connection. It’s not something we like,” said David Warren, director of the city water department. “My stomach will growl a lot as will the superintendents out here until we replace that system.”
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • October 28, 1992 Wichita Eagle: Attention All Taste Buds: Soon, All Our Water Will Seem A Little Off. Wichita’s water will taste slightly different starting Friday, city officials say, but it’s still safe to drink. “It will be the same all over the city because we’ve got one water treatment plant, and all the water comes out of there,” said David Warren, director of the Wichita Water and Sewer Department. “The only difference is that some folks seem to be much more sensitive to this than others, so maybe you’ll notice it and your neighbor won’t or vice versa.” The new flavor of Wichita water comes courtesy of the twice-a-year cleaning of the treatment plant’s sedimentation basins.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • November 14, 1991 Wichita Eagle: Your Water Might Smell, But It’s Safe, City Says. If your tap water has been smelling a little musty or tasting a little funny lately, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Other Wichitans with ultrasensitive noses and taste buds have noticed it, too.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.

  • October 11, 1990 Wichita Eagle: How Green Was My River City Dumps Sludge Into Arkansas River. A three-block stretch of the Arkansas River from Cowtown to the Keeper of the Plains statue turned pea green Tuesday and Wednesday. The culprit: the city of Wichita. The city dumped lime sludge from its water treatment plant into the river on Monday.
    Link to article at Newsbank here.