History & Interesting Facts

The city of Lansing used to operate a series of lagoon ponds located at the current site of the city’s ballparks on American Avenue. In 1981, the City of Lansing decided that the ponds were no longer adequate for a town of this size, so a 1,400,000 gallon per day wastewater treatment plant was constructed at the confluence of Nine Mile creek and Seven Mile creek on Kansas Highway 5. This proved to be an ideal location, as all of the wastewater generated inside the city limits is able to flow by gravity to the facility.

In 1991, the city completed $3 million worth of upgrades at the plant site, which included the addition of an influent screening building, a 250,000 gallon aerated bio-solids storage tank, a bio-solids pumping station, and vacuum assisted drying beds. These additions allowed for beneficial reuse and recycling of the nutrient rich bio-solids compounds, which are land applied as fertilizer.

In 2006, the city completed a $15.8 million dollar expansion and upgrade to the Wastewater Facility. This construction project began with design in November 2001, and construction began September 2003. The facility was accepted as complete in August of 2006, and should serve the needs of Lansing beyond 2025.

The new facility has the capacity to treat 3.2 million gallons of water each day. Part of the expense of the upgrade was to increase the treatment efficiency of the process to disinfect the wastewater and remove nitrogen and phosphorus compounds from the water.

In addition to the treatment of wastewater, the Wastewater Utility Department is also responsible for the operation and maintenance of over 80 miles of sanitary sewer infrastructure ranging in diameter from eight inches to 48 inches. Those pipes are interconnected by over 1,200 manholes. Due to the facilities ideal location, the city enjoys the luxury of not having any lift stations out in town. Department personnel must clean and inspect these lines on a routine basis to ensure all wastewater is transported to the treatment facility.

Through regular maintenance and inspection, defects in the pipes and manholes are recorded, evaluated, and scheduled for repair. It is hard to imagine, but the collection system is one of the biggest capital investments any city of any size has to make!

Interesting Facts
  • There is over 12,000 cubic yards of concrete that was poured at the project site, which is equivalent to over 1,300 concrete trucks, and would be enough concrete to cover 51 football fields with four inches of concrete.
  • There is over 15 miles of wire buried in conduits to control all the equipment.
  • There is enough steel reinforcing bar and tie wire, that, if it were laid out end to end, would stretch from Lansing, Kansas to Denver, Colorado and back.
  • The facility can hold 9 million gallons of water in all the concrete tanks, and it would take almost an entire year to fill all of them with a garden hose.
  • Did you know that all the water in the world is all the water we are ever going to get?

Helpful Tips
Please dispose of all kitchen grease in a separate container that is then placed in the garbage, instead of down the kitchen sink. Remember, leftovers from the refrigerator and dinner plates should be disposed of in the trash, instead of the garbage disposal. The more leftovers and grease that goes into the trash before the plates are put into the dishwasher or sink equates to less build up in your pipes. This kitchen grease builds up inside the sewer pipes, just like cholesterol does in your arteries, and reduces the carrying capacity of the pipes. Grease is the biggest cause of sewer backups and overflows.

Flushable Items
Over the last several years, many household products have been marketed to help the homeowner keep their bathrooms, kitchens, tabletops, and floors clean. These products are the disposable towelettes and floor applicators, and all of us have at least one of these products in our home. The manufacturers all claim these products are “flushable” but they are the leading cause of facility shut downs. The towelettes are in fact flushable, easily passing through the toilet and the collection system, but when they are sucked into the pumps at the wastewater facility, they clog the pump, and render it inoperable. The synthetic fibers used to make these handy little items are extremely strong, and do not degrade like paper products. Please dispose of these items in the garbage can instead of the toilet.

When planting trees, do not locate them in the utility easements located on your property, or over your sewer line to your home. If there is ever a problem with the sewer lines that require repair, the trees may have to be removed. Further, roots from these trees will find their way to the sewer line and crack the pipe, all in an effort to find water. These roots will only get bigger and cause more damage to the pipe infrastructure. Roots are the second largest cause of sewer backups and the leading cause of pipe repair or replacement.

Water Resources
Did you know that all the water in the world is all the water that we will ever get? The average person uses 150 gallons of water a day. The next time that you take one of those long hot showers, or let the sink run while you brush your teeth or wash your hands, think about all that excess water going down the drain. Please take a moment and be more aware of water usage and your environment.