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Wastewater

Phone: 913-715-8500

11811 S. Sunset Drive, Suite 2500, Olathe, Kansas 66061

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About Us: Employment

Instructions to Apply

Johnson County's Job Opening Site 

If you have further questions you may either email Johnson County Wastewater's Human Resource representative or call 913-715-1416.

 

About Us: Frequent Questions

Location

Q: Am I located in the Johnson County Wastewater Service Area?

A: If your home or business is located in Countryside, Fairway, Lake Quivira, Leawood, Lenexa, Merriam, Mission, Overland Park, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Shawnee, Westwood, or Westwood Hills, chances are you are in the Johnson County Wastewater service area. Johnson County Wastewater also serves businesses at the New Century Air Center in Gardner. If you are located in Mission Hills or Olathe, or need to know about a specific property, please call 913-715-8520.

Service

Q: Is my home or property connected to the sanitary sewers?

A: To find out if a specific home or business is connected to Johnson County Wastewater's sewer system, please call 913-715-8520.

Q: Whom should I call if I have a sewer backup?

A: Please call 913-715-8600, 24/7. During normal business hours until 3:30 p.m., your questions will be answered by a collections section employee. Any other time, an answering service will take your call and immediately contact an on-call employee to respond. During heavy rain events, calls will be responded to in the order in which they are received.

Q: Whom should I call about odor problems in my home?

A: You may contact Johnson County Wastewater at 913-715-8600 to ask questions about odors. A collections section employee will answer your questions and, if needed, send a crew to your home. They will also be able to tell you if Johnson County Wastewater is cleaning lines in your area, causing a temporary odor.

Q: Do I call Johnson County Wastewater about storm sewer problems?

A: No. Johnson County Wastewater only provides sanitary sewer services. Storm sewers are maintained by the city in which they are located. Storm sewers are identified as the large grates in streets and near curbs. You should contact your city hall for questions or problems concerning storm sewers.

Water vs. Wastewater

Q: Are Johnson County Wastewater and WaterOne the same organization?

A: No. Johnson County Wastewater is a sanitary sewer provider in Johnson County, Kansas. We are a county department that operates under the Johnson County Board of Commissioners. WaterOne is a drinking water provider for Johnson County. They operate under their own governing board. You may contact them by calling 913-895-1800.

Q: What is the difference between storm water and wastewater?

A: Storm water is water from rain and other sources that drains into a street drainage system where it flows to streams and creeks. Storm water drainage systems help prevent flooding and bank erosion. These systems are typically maintained by the cities in Johnson County. Storm water services are provided by Johnson County Public Works in unincorporated areas of the county. Individual cities within the county provided storm water services for incorporated areas. Johnson County Wastewater does not provide storm water services. Wastewater is used water from homes and businesses. Johnson County Wastewater collects, transports, and treats wastewater before it is returned to streams and creeks.

Q: What may I dump down the sewer or my drains?

A: The only thing that should go down the sewer and drains are the very basic things for which the sewers and drains are intended. But if you’re looking for a list of what not to dump, the following is a good start:

  • Prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals
  • Hair
  • Rags and towels
  • Baby wipes
  • Diapers
  • Disposable toilet brushes
  • Syringes
  • Personal care products
  • Paint
  • Chemicals
  • Grease
  • Aquarium gravel
  • Kitty litter
  • Cotton swabs

Not only do these items, and a host of others, create sewer backups and overflows, they also cause backups in the public sewer pipes and at the local wastewater treatment plant. The related costs are then passed on to rate payers. Disposable doesn’t mean flushable, and even if it reads flushable, you are still safer and more environmentally correct to place it in the trashcan. It’s also a waste of water to flush or send down the drain those things which don’t belong there. Whatever ends up in the sewer can potentially impact the water environment. Remember, cleaner water and a healthier environment begins with you and how you choose to dispose of pharmaceuticals, household hazardous wastes, fats, oils, and grease, and trash. Controlling what goes through the sewer pipes is the easiest and most effective way to protect the environment and you can start today. To properly dispose of household chemicals, please contact Johnson County's Environmental Division at 913-715-6900 or click here for additional information on the location and hours of operation of the Household Hazardous Waste Disposal Site.

Statistics

Q: What are Johnson County Wastewater’s statistics such as how many miles of sewer line the county has?

A: There are a couple of ways to find out. You can review our vital statistics or you may refer to the department's latest Annual Report.

 

About Us: History

As early as 1945, Johnson County, Kan., attempted to negotiate agreements with the City of Kansas City, Mo., to have the City treat wastewater from the County. Terms were never agreed upon and instead, Johnson County chose to build its own sewer system.

Johnson County's Board of Commissioners created the first sewer district in the county in 1945. The Johnson County Sewer System was created at the same time. Two (2) years passed and construction on the first treatment plant began before the Board hired a sole employee to manage the sewer system.

The Board hired Chief Engineer Myron K. Nelson who laid the foundation for a growing wastewater treatment system in what, at that time, was one (1) of the fastest growing counties in the country. He and his staff were responsible for laying the foundation of the sewer system both in physical buildings and lines, as well as philosophies of quality and determination.

The first treatment plant, then called Mission Township No. 1 Treatment Plant, began operation in 1949. In the 1940s and 1950s, subdivision after subdivision was developed in Johnson County. The sewer system was hard pressed to keep up with the demand for sewers. In fact, many times there were not enough contractors available for the construction jobs. Four (4) years after its completion, the Mission Township Plant was upgraded to double its treatment capacity from a population of 15,000 to 30,000. Soon afterward, construction on the second treatment plant would begin.

Growth is a part of our heritage

The one (1) treatment plant in 1949 grew to six (6) major treatment plants in 2010. Johnson County Wastewater presently employs approximately 206 people, compared to the one (1) employee hired in 1947.

Johnson County Wastewater continues to meet the challenges of growth. One (1) major accomplishment took place in 1995 with the completion of the newest regional treatment plant; the Mill Creek Regional Plant. It has proven to be an environmental and economic success for Johnson County. Located in Shawnee, Kan., the plant provides vital sewer capacity for the fast growing cities of Shawnee, Lenexa, and Olathe.

About Us: Overview

JCW Organization Chart

 

Johnson County Wastewater is responsible for the safe collection, transportation, and treatment of wastewater generated by residential, industrial, and commercial customers. As you will learn in exploring our website, Johnson County Wastewater's employees work as a team in partnership with residential and commercial customers, the Johnson County Board of Commissioners, and county management, in many ongoing projects. The aim is to automate and improve processes at Johnson County Wastewater to enhance the utility's mission:

Protecting our environment * Serving our customers * Enhancing our communities

Who We Are

Johnson County Wastewater is a county department that operates under the direction of the Johnson County Board of Commissioners, the County Manager, and the Deputy County Manager. The department has five organizational divisions:

  1. Asset Management, Planning, and Public Project
  2. Business Operations and Planning
  3. Customer Relation
  4. Operations and Maintenance
  5. Water Quality Laboratory

Each division performs unique tasks, but all work together toward one goal.

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Our Mission Statement

Protecting our environment

Serving our customers

Enhancing our communities

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Our Leadership Philosophy Statement

Leadership is a responsibility shared by all. The work of leadership is to inspire and empower each other, demonstrating Johnson County Wastewater's Core Values, using everyone's strengths to achieve our Mission and Vision as a team.

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Our Vision Statement

Johnson County Wastewater seeks to be locally respected and nationally recognized for excellence in:

  • Water quality
  • Customer service and stakeholder satisfaction
  • Responsible and sustainable use of resources
    • Natural
    • Human
    • Financial

We pride ourselves on maintaining a positive work environment that:

  • Provides training and education
  • Empowers employee productivity, innovation, and transfer of knowledge
  • Emphasizes safe work habits and practices

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What We Believe - Our Core Values

  • Creativity
    • We encourage employee innovation, seek continuous improvement, and embrace learning opportunities.
  • Humor
    • We will laugh with one another, use humor in a sensitive manner, and recognize and celebrate our accomplishments.
  • Respect
    • We value our diverse backgrounds and cultures, each others's contributions, and ideas from various perspectives.
  • Integrity
    • We demonstrate trustworthiness by being truthful, openly sharing information, and taking responsibility for our actions.
  • Service
    • We embrace public service as a personal commitment of our talents to the benefit of the people we serve.

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Our Goal and Role

The goal of wastewater treatment in any community is to eliminate disease-causing bacteria and to protect the environment for human and aquatic life. Before modern methods of wastewater treatment were introduced, the spread of life-threatening diseases was common in most communities across the country. Johnson County Wastewater's role in the county is to ensure that our streams, rivers, and lakes are free from disease-causing bacteria and viruses that are harmful to the public health. As we learn more about the importance of protecting our natural resources, wastewater treatment becomes an obvious defense against water pollution.

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Vital Statistics About Johnson County Wastewater

These figures are derived from the department's 2015 Annual Report.Updated figures are available during the first quarter each year.

  • Johnson County Wastewater provides sanitary sewer service to more than 400,000 people throughout the County.
  • The wastewater system covers a service area of more than 172 square miles and 16 cities.
  • Johnson County Wastewater operates a total treatment capacity of nearly 64 million gallons per day.
  • Johnson County Wastewater processed an average of 18.5 billion gallons of wastewater in 2015, equivalent to filling Kansas City’s Sprint Center more than 87 times.
  • In 2015, Johnson County Wastewater had a 99.89 percent compliance rate with regard to Nattional Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) limits. Of a possible 2,724 violations, the department recorded only three violations for the year. 
  • In 2015, Johnson County Wastewater's active account base of more than 139,000 was composed of:
    • 5,994 commercial accounts (4.27 percent)
    • 113 industrial accounts (0.08 percent)
    • 17,228 multi-family accounts (12.38 percent)
    • 115,843 single-family residential accounts (83.28 percent)
  • In 2015, Johnson County Wastewater issued 1,348 connection permits (257 commercial and 1,091 residential), comparable to 2006-2007.
  • Johnson County Wastewater is big business with the replacement value of more than 5,600 aboveground assets, including six major treatment plants and 31 pump stations. Underground assets include more than 2,250 miles of sewer line, including approximately 58,000 manholes, approximately, 24 miles of active low-pressure sewers, and 42 miles of active force mains. The estimated replacement value of the entire system is more than $2 billion. The miles of sewer lines would span the distance between Johnson County's Administration Building in Olathe to New York City and back.
  • The department's total operating fund in 2015 was $51,855,064. Of that amount, Operations and Maintenance accounted for $41,018,804.
  • In 2015, the department ended the year with connection fee revenue of $7,281,262.28. This figure is an increase of nearly $1.4 million since 2014.
  • The co-generation facility located at the Douglas L. Smith Middle Basin Wastewater Treatment Facility produced 37 percent of its power needs. The department has seen an increase in gas production due to processing more fats, oils and grease and other food processing wastes.

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Important Contact Numbers

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Website Feedback

Resident feedback is very important to us. Let us know what you think about our website and/or if you have ideas for how we can improve resident communications. We welcome your comments and suggestions regarding our website.

 Up

About Us: Partners

We Are Partners With Our Customers

Johnson County Wastewater believes that the most effective form of wastewater treatment results from a partnership with those we serve. This partnership is based on two-way, continuous communication between the two. Interactive communication is important. One way we accomplish this is through public hearings or informational meetings held by the Board of County Commissioners and the active participation of our customers. Another hands-on opportunity we offer is our plant tour which is free and available by appointment.

We Are Partners With the Board of County Commissioners

The Johnson County Board of Commissioners is a seven-member board. Board members are elected to four-year terms by voters in their respective districts. They hold regular business sessions every Thursday, except observable holidays, at the Board of County Commissioners Hearing Room, 111 South Cherry, 3rd Floor, Olathe, Kan.

The Board holds public hearings and information meetings on wastewater projects and district creations. Normally, these meetings are advertised 10 days prior to the meeting date in the Olathe Daily News. Notices concerning wastewater issues are mailed 14 days prior to the meeting date to those property owners who are potentially affected .

We Are Partners Within Our Department - Leadership Team & Divisions

General Manager - Susan Pekarek

Susan Pekarek is the department's General Manager as of September 2016. Previously she was JCW's Chief Engineer and was responsible for leading engineering planning and the department's capital improvement activities, as well as overseeing all engineering functions in the department. She joined Johnson County Wastewater in 2001, and served as Managing Engineer - treatment/wastewater treatment projects in the Existing Infrastructure group, Operations and Maintenance Division, since 2002. Prior to 2001, Ms. Pekarek worked for Burns & McDonnell for four (4) years as an Environmental Engineer.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (Environmental focus) from Kansas State University. She is a Kansas Registered Professional Engineer and has a Kansas Wastewater Treatment Operator, Class IV license. Ms. Pekarek is a member of the following professional organizations: KWEA (Government Affairs Committee Chair), WEF, the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF), and Chi Epsilon Society.

Director of Business Operations & Planning (BOP) Division - Beth Brandel

As identified in Johnson County Wastewater's Strategic Business Plan, Beth Brandel, director of Business Operations & Planning, is responsible for moving the department ahead with regard to the plan's goals and objectives. She also supervises the financial, human resources, and information technology departmental functions.

The Business Operations & Planning Division provides vital support services to the other divisions of Johnson County Wastewater. These include accounting, budgeting, computer operations, human resources, payroll, and employee relations. Business Operations & Planning employees are involved in many ongoing projects aimed at automating and improving processes at Johnson County Wastewater for the betterment of all its employees and the service that the department provides.

Prior to her work with wastewater, Ms. Brandel served as Manager of Personal Property for the Johnson County Appraiser’s Office. She also worked for Sprint Corporation as a Financial Analysis Manager and as an auditor for the Missouri Public Service Commission where she was involved in utility rate cases. Ms. Brandel holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration from Pittsburg State University, and is a CPA, licensed in the State of Missouri.

Director of Communications - Lori Sand 

Lori Sand, director of communications, is very familiar with the Kansas City metro area and Johnson County, having previously served for nearly 15 years as the Director of Communications for the Blue Valley School District.

Communications is a focal point for Johnson County Wastewater, providing relevant information to the customers, media, departmental staff, and the general public, as well as soliciting input from our partners.

Ms. Sand, who came to work with the department in May 2008, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications from Iowa State University and is a member of the Regional Association of Public Information Officers.

Director of Customer Relations Division - Lisa Davis 

Lisa Davis, Customer Relations director, previously served the department for five (5) years as User Charge Manager. She helped establish and oversee the growth of this vital section of the department.

The Customer Relations Division serves as a single source for all key customer service activities, including informational needs. It links business functions such as inspections, permitting, and system expansion activities as well as billing and collections. The ability for staff to meet peak workloads between the various functions and cross-train is enhanced by the creation of this division.

Director of the Water Quality Lab Division – Tony Holt

Tony Holt, director of the Water Quality Lab, plans and oversees all new projects, researches new technologies and methods, and sets the direction and priority of lab work. The director also acts as a technician in the field and as a lab tech whenever needed. He spent six (6) years in the custom lab business before coming to Johnson County in January 1987.

The Water Quality Laboratory employs sampling strategies, National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC)-accrediated equipment, and techniques perfected over 35 years of continuous operation to accurately determine the chemical properties or constituents of waste and surface waters.

Mr. Holt assumed his duties as the Lab Director in 1990. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (ACS) from UW River Falls in 1981. He is a member of WEF, the Kansas Laboratory Education Association, and the WERF Emerging Contaminant Work Group.

We Are Partnering With My Government Online

About Us: Public Meetings

Sewer-Related Public Meetings

Scheduled Information Meetings, Apportionment Hearings and Public Hearings

Most meetings are held at the Johnson County Wastewater office, 11811 South Sunset Drive, Olathe, Kan. until otherwise indicated.

- A second  information meeting regarding the interceptor capacity improvements directly upstream and downstream of the Meadowbrook Golf Course in Prairie Village and Overland Park is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. at the Indian Creek Rechnology Center (Room A), 4401 W. 103rd Street.

- The first public meeting was held June 2, 2016. 

- An information meeting (open house) regarding the Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion and upgrade was held Tuesday, March 22, 2016.

- An information meeting regarding Mill Creek 15, LSD 6 was held Sept. 17, 2015.

- A Public Hearing regarding a Special Assessment for Lateral Sewer District No. 2 of Little Bull Creek No. 1 was held Thursday, July 23, 2015.

The method of assessment for this district is the Per Homesite Method. This method recognizes the equal benefit to each homesite and apportions costs equally. All 65 homesites within Lateral Serwer District No. 2 of Little Bull Creek No. 1 will pay an equal share of the pressure main costs and the 56 homes that had pumps installed by this project will in addition pay equally for the pump system costs.

-A Public Hearing for Additional Funds for the Gardner Lake Project was held Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

-An Information Meeting for BR25 Estates of Prairie Glen was held Oct. 13, 2014.

-An Information Meeting for Blue River 21, Contract 3, was held Wed., Feb. 26, 2014. 

-An Information Meeting for the Little Mill Creek No. 7 Lateral Sewer Study Area was held Wed., March 12, 2014.

Request for Public Information Meeting Form

Meeting Descriptions

  1. Information Meeting: The Johnson County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) and Johnson County Wastewater hold an information meeting when a property owner expresses interest in their area being sewered and serviced by Johnson County Wastewater. The purpose of the meeting is to share information about sewers with others in the geographic vicinity. Property owners are notified by mail at least 14 days prior to the meeting.
     
  2. Public Hearing: The public hearing is held to listen to comments and answer questions from property owners about sewers. The hearing is held after a petition has been received from property owners representing at least 51 percent of the land area. Sometimes, the public hearing may be called a "district creation" hearing or a "district enlargement" hearing. Property owners are notified by mail at least 14 days prior to the meeting. (A public hearing may be followed in two (2) weeks by BOCC action in Olathe.)
     
  3. Apportionment: An Apportionment Hearing is for the purpose of receiving public comment on the proposed split or "apportionment" of costs upon completion of a sewer project within a "benefit" district. This type of district is created to construct and finance sewer facilities to serve a limited geographic area, such as a septic tank neighborhood converting to public sewers. (A public hearing may be followed in two (2) weeks by BOCC action in Olathe.)

Action by the Board of County Commissioners

Johnson County's Board of Commissioners considers the creation or enlargement of a district during their regular business sessions held on Thursday (except for observable holidays).

The Board of County Commissioners' hearing room is located at 111 South Cherry, 3rd Floor, Olathe, Kan.

 

About Us: Publications

Administration

Annual Report 2015

July 2016 Customer Satisfaction Survey

December 2015 Customer Satisfaction Survey

 

The Pipeline (employee newsletter)

Customer Service Brochures

Engineering

  • Service Area Brochure explains the costs and process of bringing properties into the Johnson County Wastewater Service Area for sanitary sewers.
  • Contract District Brochure explains the costs and process of creating a Contracy District within the Johnson County Wastewater Service Area for sanitary sewers.

Publications Archive

Administration

Customer Service Brochures

About Us: Resolutions

Charter Resolution No. 29-92

Adopted as Charter Resolution 29-92 by the Board of Commissioners of Johnson County, Kan., Feb. 20, 1992

Amendments

  • Resolution 33-97, June 19, 1997
  • Charter Resolution 35-00, May 4, 2000
  • Charter Resolution 39-08, June 5, 2008 (effective date Sept. 7, 2008)
  • Charter Resolution 041-12, May 3, 2012 (effective July 19, 2012)
  • Charter Resolution 042-13 (effective May 23, 2013)

User Charge Resolution No. WD 13-022

This resolution adopts a system of charges for the payment of Johnson County Wastewater operation and maintenance costs and capital improvement costs of the Consolidated Main Sewer District and consolidating the billing, collection, and appeal of charges. Resolution Numbers 025-92, WD 10-040, and WD 12-019 are hereby repealed. This resolution became effective on Jan. 1, 2014.

 

 

About Us: Tours

Welcome Visitors & Teachers!

Johnson County Wastewater can serve as a valuable instructional resource for the community! Please feel free to take advantage of these opportunities to learn about the wastewater treatment process and its importance to the community.

All participants must bring a signed release for admission to the plant grounds. Only those individuals who do have a signed release form will be able to participate in the tour.

Something fun beforehand

Follow this link to see Wally Creates a Lego Wastewater Wonderland!

the Adventures of Walter Waterdrop coloring book

Plant Tours

If you are interested in learning about how Johnson County Wastewater and other wastewater treatment organizations clean used water, you might want to consider taking a plant tour. It's interesting to learn about how we are able to clean water almost the same way that nature would, but by a much faster process. If the water was left alone in a stream or lake, it would naturally clean itself, but that could take a long time. The first thing we have to do, then, is collect the wastewater and transport it to a wastewater treatment plant.

  • While tours are typically scheduled for the third Wednesday of the month, we will also make an effort to accomodate your schedule if that doesn't work for you.
  • The plants are open for tours Monday through Thursday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Tours are available at our treatment plant locations. Choose the one that's most convenient for you to visit. 
  • Tours are free.
  • Reservations should be made at least two (2) weeks in advance.
  • Tours are about 60-90 minutes long, beginning with an introductory presentation and ending with a question-and-answer session.
  • All tour attendees must be at least eight (8) years old or in third-grade.
  • Participants should wear appropriate footwear - closed-toe shoes with flat heels.
  • The minimum group size is five (5); maximum is 20. For every 10 students there should be one chaperone. Larger groups will be considered based on staff availability. 
  • Tours are conducted by Johnson County Wastewater employees who operate and manage the plants. They will provide a thorough, step-by-step explanation of wastewater treatment.

To schedule a tour, please send an email If you let us know ahead of time, we can prepare a slide at the plant's lab so that you may view organisms under a microscope. 

Speakers

Johnson County Wastewater's staff members are also available to visit your location to discuss such topics such as the wastewater treatment process, protecting the environment, or any of our department's projects. To schedule a speaker, please also send an email