Lawrence, Kansas
Kansas River and the Bowersock Dam in downtown Lawrence.
Photo courtesy of Josh Carson, City of Lawrence.
Lawrence, Kansas, has a population of nearly 100,000 and lies between the
Kansas and Wakarusa Rivers. Lawrence operates a separate sewer collection
system along with a storm sewer system. Before 2018, it had one wastewater
treatment facility1 that discharged to the Kansas River. This river was historically
used for steamboat traffic but is now a popular location for recreation and
culture. The portion that flows through Lawrence is literally a work of art: an
internationally known earth artist created a rock mural on the bank of the river
near downtown.
Challenges
During heavy storms, stormwater and groundwater entered Lawrence's
sanitary sewer system through cracks and improper connections (i.e.,
infiltration and inflow). This led to sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) that
discharged sewage to the Kansas River. Meanwhile, more stringent effluent
limits were about to be set for the wastewater treatment facility due to
concerns about nutrient pollution in the Kansas River. The city had just one
wastewater treatment facility and Lawrence's growing population required the
city to plan for a second wastewater treatment facility to avoid exceeding the
existing facility's capacity.
Integrated Planning in Action
Lawrence used an integrated planning approach to identify affordable
projects to increase wastewater treatment and flow capacity. The city created
project categories and prioritized projects from these categories based on
improvements needed to meet current capacity requirements, followed by
those that provided capacity for future growth in the service area. The city then
performed a cost-benefit comparison between the projects and calculated
the rate impacts on customers under different scenarios. Finally, Lawrence
pi City of Lawrence
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EPA Region 7
100,000 population
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Project Categories
	Existing collection system
improvements
	Existing collection system
rehabilitation
	New wastewater treatment
facility
	Existing wastewater treatment
facility improvements
	Annual wastewater utility
maintenance
1 "Wastewater treatment facilities" (WWTFs) is a generic term for facilities that treat or manage wastewater, including publicly owned
treatment works.

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city officials sought public input on the population
projections used to develop the wastewater master
plan through capital improvement planning hearings
and a public comment process.
Lawrence considered all of these data and documented
the selected projects in the integrated plan:
	The EcoFlow Rapid Rainwater Reduction Program,
designed to reduce infiltration and inflow by 35
percent in the defined project area. The program
would reduce the flows entering the collection
system during wet weather, decreasing the need
for collection system capacity projects.
	Construction of new sewer infrastructure to convey
flows during large storms to the existing wastewater
treatment facility.
	Infrastructure for and construction of a new
wastewater treatment facility.
	Improvements to the existing wastewater treatment
facility to comply with anticipated nutrient limits.
The cost of the integrated plan was estimated at
$161.2 million through 2030$148.3 million for existing
system improvements and $12.9 million for service to
future growth areas.
Results
In 2014, the Integrated 2012 Wastewater Utilities
Plan was implemented through a memorandum
of understanding between the city and Kansas
Department of Health and Environment (KDHE); in
2019, KDHE issued permits for both wastewater
treatment facilities that incorporated the memorandum.
This agreement included a 20-year implementation
schedule for integrated plan projects. In 2014, the city
implemented the EcoFlow Rapid Rainwater Reduction
Program to reduce infiltration and inflow. As of 2020,
Lawrence had completed over 1,900 private property
infiltration and inflow repairs, over 600 manhole
repairs, and over 400 sanitary sewer repairs, as well
as lining approximately 200,000 linear feet of sanitary
sewer pipe to reduce infiltration and SSO events. The
city finished building its new wastewater treatment
facility in the spring of 2018.
Kansas River above the Bowersock Dam, looking south
toward Burcham Park Trail. Photo courtesy of Josh Carson,
City of Lawrence.
SEPA
For more information, visit EPA's integrated planning Report to Congress webpage at:
https://www.epa.qov/npdes/inteqrated-planninq-municipal-stormwater-and-wastewater	EPA-832-F-21-019 I June 2021

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