NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Live Coverage: Coronavirus in the Kansas City Area

Kansas City Now Boasts Highest Water Rates In Metro

Flickr user Clearly Ambiguous
Creative Commons

As of May 1, 2012, Kansas City, Mo. residents can expect higher rates on water usage and wastewater (sanitary sewer) services. In March, the Kansas City Council approved a new budget which included a 17% increase for sewers and a 12% increase for water. This increase takes into account the anticipated costs of the $2.5 billion federally mandated plan requiring the city to replace its sewer system within the next 25 years.

Kansas City residents will notice the rate hike. According to this city press release:

"On average, most residential households will experience an increase in their combined (water, wastewater and stormwater) bill of approximately $9 a month, or about 14 percent. The increase in rates was approved by the City Council to reflect rising costs, expanded investment in new facilities, the replacement of aging infrastructure and compliance with federal government mandates for upgrades to sewer systems."  

Kansas City Star columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah writes that, with this price increase, water "in Kansas City will cost more than it does in Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, Olathe, Independence, Gladstone, Liberty and for customers of Johnson County’s sprawling WaterOne utility."

A few other increases in the Kansas City metropolitan area:

  • April 1, 2012: Sewer and water rates go up for Lee's Summit, Mo. Residents using 5,000 gallons of water a month see an increase of $2.91 a month.
  • 2011: Independence, Mo. increased wastewater rates by 4.5% annually until 2015. This marks an increase in 2011-12 of $9.60 to $10.60 a month for a base rate increase, plus an additional $3 a month for the sanitary sewer rate.
  • 2011: Olathe, Kan. increased rates by 6% for water and 7.4% for wastewater services. With the increase, the average homeowner pays about $3.30 more a month.
  • 2010: Blue Springs, Mo. raised rates by 4.5% (3% for water and 1.5% for sewer annually through October 1, 2013). The average homeowner saw an increase of 28 cents to $3.39 a month based on water usage.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with essential news and information.
Your donation today keeps local journalism strong.