Sustainable Spotlight: KC Water

KC Water was awarded the Innovation Award presented by the Kansas City Industrial Council. The award honors a business using innovative solutions for sustainability in our Kansas City community.

The award specifically recognized the innovative actions of one particular KC Water employee, Amir Kenner, whose creative thinking and willingness to go beyond normal job responsibilities, helped KC Water identify the source of an illicit discharge occurring along Boone Creek.

Boone Creek is one of the tributaries into the Blue River, which is the most important river in the city south of the Mighty Mo. KC Water was repeatedly observing that flow from the creek was extremely turbid during rain events. Concerned that this sediment would disperse further into the Blue River, slow down flow, and degrade the quality of aquatic habitat, KC Water started an investigation to identify the source of the illicit discharge.

However, the conventional methods of an online mapping tool and field investigation to locate the potential source did not work. Dense vegetation and other barriers along the stream corridor made it nearly inaccessible to the field crew.

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Enter Amir. His idea and coordination to use a drone, provided the video footage and analysis needed to significantly narrow down the targeted area. As a result of Amir’s efforts, KC Water was able to identify the source of the illicit discharge and reach out to the owner of a 200-acre property along the creek where construction-induced soil erosion was occurring. The issue was resolved, and the stream returned to its normal clarity. 

Amir’s timely and creative solution allowed KC Water to target the pollutant source quickly and stop further pollution to our local streams and rivers.