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Phone: 913-715-8500

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

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wastewater department

Johnson County Wastewater is responsible for the safe collection, transportation, and treatment of wastewater generated by residential, industrial, and commercial customers. Johnson County Wastewater works to eliminate disease-causing bacteria and to protect the environment for human and aquatic life. Johnson County Wastewater's role is to ensure that our streams, rivers and lakes are free from disease-causing bacteria and viruses that are harmful to the public health.

Department News

November 19 is World Toilet Day
November 19, 2015

Today is World Toilet Day and while it may sound like a humorous occasion, it’s no joke. This is actually serious – deadly serious. November 19 is a day that has been set aside to recognize that not everyone has access to toilets or good sanitation, which in 2013 lead to 1,000 children dying each day from diarrheal diseases related to poor sanitation. Did you know that toilets and sanitation are considered a human right? In 2010, the UN General Assembly recognized sanitation and water as a human right, essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights. Yet, one third of the world’s population still lacks access to adequate sanitation. An estimated 2.4 billion people worldwide (about one in three) lack access to a facility that at least separates human excrement from human contact. More than a billion relieve themselves on the ground or into open bodies of water. The amount of germs in human feces is staggering. In one gram of human waste, there are 1 million bacteria, 10 million viruses, 100 worm eggs, 1,000 parasite cysts and 50 infectious diseases. An estimated 1.8 billion people use drinking water that contains fecal matter. Contaminated water can transmit diseases such as cholera, dysentery and typhoid. Those who are interested in more information, including how you can support the work of the World Toilet Organization may visit worldtoilet.org. They are currently working on sanitation projects in Cambodia, India, and Mozambique. This short video, Where You Go Matters, offers further insight into this problem.


The Top Ten Things to Keep Out of the Sewers
November 3, 2015

The Top Ten Things to Keep Out of the Sewers

  1. Prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals
  2. Hair
  3.  Rags and towels
  4. Baby wipes and diapers
  5. Disposable toilet brushes
  6. Syringes
  7. Personal care products
  8. Grease
  9. Aquarium gravel and kitty litter
  10. Cotton swabs

You plug it, you pay for it

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.

And there’s more …

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.

Sources: Water Environment Federation

Imagine a Day Without Water!
October 6, 2015

Imagine: Could you go a day without water? No water to drink or make coffee. No water to shower, flush the toilet, or do laundry. Firefighters couldn't put out fires and farmers couldn't water their crops.

From October 6 - 8 agencies across the country will join together to raise awareness about the most essential resource we have: Water. The Value of Water Coalition is hosting Imagine a Day Without Water, a national effort to educate and inspire people about the value of water, our most precious resource.

Many people take water service for granted. The average American uses 64,240 gallons of water each year. Clean, safe, reliable, and affordable water comes out of the tap and flows down the drain without a second thought. But the massive infrastructure, much of it underground, which brings water to homes and businesses, takes it away, and treats it, is aging.

A water main breaks somewhere in the U.S. every two minutes. Most pipes have an average life expectancy of 50 years, but in many major cities, water pipes are more than 100 years old. Communities cannot afford to go a day without water if those systems reach their breaking points.

The message is clear - water is essential, invaluable, and needs investment.

The problem is that water infrastructure and resources are at risk and this puts the nation at risk. With a growing national population and finite water supplies, we have long-term water supply challenges that must be addressed with new and creative strategies that meet current and future needs. There are a total of 68,873 drinking water and wastewater treatment systems in the U.S.

The solution is to make investment in water a top priority in order to ensure clean, safe water so all communities can thrive. According to the Society of Civil Engineers, a total of $4.8 trillion needs to be invested in the country’s water infrastructure over the next 20 years to maintain a state of good repair.

Facilities hidden in plain sight gain local attention
August 27, 2015

Fox 4 News localized this story that had gone viral with a feature about Johnson County Wastewater and the utility's pump stations which are "hidden in plain sight" in a couple of residential areas

Johnson County Wastewater receives national recognition
September 1, 2015

Each year the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) recognizes public wastewater facilities for outstanding compliance with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit limits. This recognition program consists of Peak Performance Awards in three categories – Platinum, Gold, and Silver.

Johnson County Wastewater was recognized in July at the NACWA national conference held in Providence, RI for its outstanding compliance records in the 2014 calendar year and was presented with two Platinum Awards. In total, JCW earned six Peak Performance awards.

JCW received two Platinum Peak Performance Awards to honor treatment works that have completed at least five years of 100% complete and consistent National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit compliance.

The county’s Platinum Award recipients are:

  • The Mill Creek Regional Plant at 20001 West 47th Street in Shawnee for eight years of permit compliance, and
  • The Blue River Main Plant at 2523 West 151st Street in Overland Park for nine years of permit compliance.

Three JCW treatment facilities received the Gold Peak Performance Award which honors treatment works that have achieved 100% compliance with the NPDES permit for 2014.

The Gold Peak Performance Award honorees are:

  • Douglas L. Smith Middle Basin Plant
  • New Century AirCenter Plant
  • Tomahawk Creek Plant

One treatment facility earned a Silver Peak Performance Award which recognize facilities that received no more than five NPDES permit violations in 2014.

Silver Peak Performance Award honoree is:

  • Myron K. Nelson Plant

 In 2014, Johnson County Wastewater had a 99.7 percent compliance rate with regard to NPDES discharge violations. Of a possible 2,237 violations, the department recorded seven violations for the year.

 “It is very difficult to achieve that level of compliance,” said John O’Neil, general manager for Johnson County Wastewater.