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Johnson County Imagines a Day Without Water

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners proclaimed Oct. 12 as “Imagine a Day Without Water” during today's meeting.

It's easy to take the water systems that bring clean water to and from our homes and businesses for granted.

“Johnson County leaders understand the importance of reliable sanitary sewer system and the role it plays in water safety and our community’s overall success,” said Susan Pekarek, director of Johnson County Wastewater. 

Johnson County investments to improve water quality and protect water include the Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility improvements, which involve building an expanded plant in Leawood to treat all tributary flows. This project will have water quality benefits for Indian Creek, as well as the downstream waters of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. It will address nutrient removal as excessive nutrients can be harmful by degrading habitats and decreasing the amount of oxygen in the water.

Other water quality improvement projects performed by Johnson County Wastewater include treatment upgrades and changes to treatment process at the Douglas L. Smith Middle Basin Wastewater Treatment Facility in Overland Park with a significant portion of the project addressing nutrient removal facilities. Excessive nutrients can be harmful by degrading habitats and decreasing the amount of oxygen in the water.

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. In 2016, Johnson County Wastewater plants won four Platinum and two Gold awards.

A single nationwide day without water service would put $43.5 billion of economic activity at risk, according to the Imagine a Day Without Water campaign. The campaign is an organized national effort to highlight the critical importance of reliable access to clean water in our lives and the investment in infrastructure that is necessary to protect this valuable resource.