Rain and Kansas City’s Sewer System

Rain and Kansas City’s Sewer System

On June 3, heavy rains caused significant flooding in Kansas City’s historic Brookside neighborhood. Flooding events like these remind us of the impact TREKK Design Group’s engineering services have on our community.

In recent months, TREKK has inspected hundreds of manholes, storm inlets, pipes, completed flow monitoring, and completed survey just east of the affected Brookside area. That data is currently being used to develop and construct improvements to the sanitary and storm sewer system to prevent flooding like we recently experienced. Construction should begin later this year.

Unfortunate events like this make us realize that what we all collectively do on a daily basis truly does matter and has a significant impact on the livelihood of others. This was proved yesterday right here in our own backyard.

-Lucas Gillen, PE

Rain and the city’s sewer system:

Over two inches of rain fell on Kansas City Wednesday, and during a short period in the morning, the rain was falling at a 2-3 inch-per-hour rate.

The Kansas City Water Department said over the phone many of the old pipes in the city aren’t meant to withstand such rain fall. Many pipes are more than 100 years old and were meant to withstand two-to-three year rain events when they need pipes that will withstand a ten-year rain event. Such improvements would cost $50 million however.

The Kansas City Water Department also said Wednesday’s events are a reminder of the importance of funding as currently there is no dedicated funding stream for storm water capital improvements.

According to the National Weather Service, it doesn’t take much water to destroy your car during a flash flood. Only six inches of water can stall an engine and just one foot can sweep a car off the road, two feet for a truck.

When a flash flood is issued nearby creek beds can flood roads within 30 minutes to an hour.

 

 

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