City considers installing water lines near groundwater contamination plume

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

WICHITA, Kan.--- Homeowners in West Wichita have submitted a petition in support of water line improvements to Westfield, Westlink, and South Arcadia Streets.

"It will cost them a lot more money but they're probably willing to do that because this has been a scare for everyone," said Mary Dewey, who lives adjacent to the groundwater contamination plume.

For months, Dewey has been drinking bottled water out of caution.

On the east of Dewey's street, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is paying for water line connections. But on the west side of her street, where her house sits, the cost will be paid for by property owners.

Several neighborhoods north of Maple and Tyler have relied on private water wells and a majority have not been connected to City of Wichita water.

After KAKE News first reported on March 31st of the groundwater contamination, Dewey said her neighbors have been concerned.

Now, a petition has been signed by 58-pecent of the resident owners along those three streets. The project will construct approximately 3,700 feet of pipe and will cost about $250,000.

"The properties that are not located in the groundwater contamination area, that are petitioning to get the city to put water mains in, that will all be paid by special assessment taxes that are paid by the property owners over 15 or 20 years," said Ben Nelson, strategic services manager for Wichita Public Works and Utilities.

The district five advisory board will hold their monthly meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Fire Station 21, 2110 N. 135th Street West. They will discuss the water line improvements to the three streets.


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