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A street corner during the day. It's the junction of 6th street and Minnesota Avenue.

National Drinking Water Week Recognized May 1-7, 2022

(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) — The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) and other utilities throughout North America are observing Drinking Water Week from May 1-7, 2022. This promotion and educational effort recognizes the vital role tap water and municipal water plays in daily life, the infrastructure that is required to carry it to and from homes and businesses, and the important work of water professionals like those at BPU who work around the clock to ensure the delivery of safe and dependable tap water.

BPU’s water distribution system services 53,000 customers, including 4,200 businesses, and a population of 169,000 with more than 1,000 miles of water lines and 9,000 fire hydrants across both heavily urban and suburban communities. This includes maintaining and operating two of the nation’s largest horizontal collector wells deep below the Missouri River that ensure safe dependable water is always readily available to the community.

As one of our planet’s most valuable natural resources, water plays a vital role in daily life, serving an essential purpose for health, hydration, and hygiene needs. It also delivers fire protection, health security, support the economy, and improves the overall quality of life we’ve come to enjoy.

BPU employees, all who live and work in Wyandotte County, work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to ensure reliable water service. This includes those that design and build capital projects, operators who ensure the safety and quality of drinking water at the state-of-the-art Nearman Water Treatment Plant, or the crews that maintain a vast infrastructure including mains and lines that transport the water we take for granted every day.

Additionally, BPU technicians and experts conduct extensive testing from the utility’s on-site water-testing laboratory, guaranteeing the supply of pure safe water for customers. BPU and its employees are also good stewards of the environment, working to protect source waters from pollution and promoting conversation efforts to minimize waste.

BPU is one of the top-rated public water utilities in the country, one of only a handful to receive the Partnership for Safe Water Directors Award. The Partnership for Safe Water is a voluntary program between BPU (as well as other participating water utilities) and the following water authorities: the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, the American Water Works Association, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies and the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, all of whom help to sponsor the program. Less than one percent of all utilities nationwide receive this award, and BPU was the first and only utility in the metro area to receive this honor. BPU has also received the Platinum Award for Utility Excellence from the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), one of a select few utilities in the country to receive this recognition.

As BPU promotes the importance of clean, potable, tap water in the community, below are a few interesting facts for consideration.

•     BPU’s water is not taken from the Missouri River, but rather from an aquifer that lies deep beneath the river which gets its water from melting ice from mountain ranges in Wyoming and Montana.

•     The cost of a gallon of BPU water for a residential customer is a penny, compare that to the cost of a 16 oz bottle of water which costs a dollar.

•     The average adult body is made up of about 60% water. This is why it’s so important to stay hydrated.

•     A leaky faucet that drips once a second can waste over 2,600 gallons of water per year.

•     The average person in the U.S. uses 80-100 gallons of water per day (most of which is taken up by flushing the toilet!)

Providing quality drinking water is essential to the health and wellness of Wyandotte County and the community. The work that BPU performs each day ensures that the water delivered to its customers consistently exceeds expectations. It is committed to providing the best drinking water in the nation today, and for the generations that follow.

About BPU

BPU’s water department was originally created in 1909, and its electric utility was operational in 1912. The purpose of the utility, then and to this day, is to provide the highest quality electric and water services at the lowest possible cost. Today the publicly owned utility serves approximately 65,000 electric and 53,000 water customers, primarily in Wyandotte County, Kansas. The mission of the utility and its employees is “to focus on the needs of our customers, to improve the quality of life in our community while promoting safe, reliable and sustainable utilities.” BPU’s Web site is www.bpu.com.


540 Minnesota Avenue
Kansas City, KS 66101-2930
(913) 573-9000 Contact Us

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