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BPU Celebrates Drinking Water Week May 5-11

BPU Celebrates Drinking Water Week (May 5-11)

Invites the Community to Recognize the Value of Public Water

(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) — The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) joins communities across the nation in recognizing national Drinking Water Week 2024. Taking place from May 5-11th, this observance serves to highlight the importance of safe drinking water and recognize the efforts of public water professionals who ensure the delivery of high-quality tap water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

This year’s celebration coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), a landmark law designed to safeguard the public by setting high drinking water standards. As one of the 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, supports the economy, and improves the overall quality of life.

BPU Water Facts:

  • BPU produced 10 billion gallons of safe drinking water in 2023, with its state-of-the-art certified laboratory conducting over 41,800 tests on 8,700 water samples.
  • Capacity to produce 72 million gallons of water per day (MGD).
  • 20 million gallons of reserve water in elevated storage tanks and reservoirs.
  • Consumers pay $1.00 for a 16 oz. plastic bottle of water at the store – while an entire gallon (128 oz.) of BPU tap water costs less than one cent.

BPU’s water distribution system services 53,000 customers, including approximately 4,200 businesses, and a population of 169,000 with more than 1,000 miles of water lines and 6,200 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.

BPU employees work every day to ensure safe reliable water for Wyandotte County. 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 (NWTP), or the crews that maintain a vast infrastructure including mains and lines that transport the water. 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 good stewards of the environment, working to protect source waters from pollution and promoting water conversation to minimize waste through educational materials, its award-winning website, and community outreach efforts. Recently, BPU water staff visited Piper Creek Elementary School teaching students about where their water comes from, and the importance of this natural resource. BPU also hosted several members of the Kansas Legislature as well as Congressional staff, providing a tour of the NWTP and its water laboratory to highlight the extensive work required to meet today’s safe drinking water standards.

One of the top-rated public water utilities in the country, BPU is one of only a handful to receive the Partnership for Safe Water “Directors Award”, a voluntary partnership program between BPU and the Environmental Protection Agency, the American Water Works Association, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, and the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators.

The work that BPU’s water professionals perform every day ensures that the water delivered to the community exceeds expectations. BPU remains 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.



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