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Biological Nutrient Removal Project

Welcome to the dedicated information source for the City of Wichita Biological Nutrient Removal Project. Here we will provide a reliable source of project updates including frequently asked questions and information about progress.

​Project Background

The City of Wichita and its Department of Public Works & Utilities staff have been preparing for Wichita’s water future through an ongoing master planning process updated in 2016. In collaboration with Burns & McDonnell, the Integrated Water and Wastewater Master Plan was developed to prepare for projected changes in Wichita’s population, aging infrastructure and treatment challenges posed by growth and/or changes to regulatory nutrient removal requirements anticipated through the year 2045.

Needed wastewater investment related to impending discharge permit requirements is now moving forward in preparation for more stringent effluent regulations expected by KDHE in the City’s 2027 discharge permit.

The City of Wichita is responsible for providing drinking water and clean water services for approximately 500,000 people (nearly 17 percent of the Kansas population). The city has taken great strides to upgrade its drinking water facilities and is now prioritizing significant improvements at its largest water quality reclamations facilities in the City’s portfolio.

  • Lower Arkansas Water Quality Reclamation Facility (LAWQRF), also known as “Plant 2”
  • The City’s largest pump station (Grove Street Pump Station or “Plant 1”).

Figure 1 below illustrates the locations of the City’s five water quality reclamation facilities. Plants 1, 2, and 5 are hydraulically connected, while Plants 3 and 4 operate independently.

​Program Timeline

​BNR Requirements

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit issued by KDHE establishes criteria for discharge from the water reclamation facilities.

Permits are issued on a five-year cycle.

The City of Wichita needs to make improvements to the Arkansas River discharge by increasing the amounts of biological nutrients removed during the wastewater treatment process by end of 2027.

Current Effluent Level​ Next Cycle Permit
Regulatory Level​
Expected Future
Permit Level​
Total Nitrogen​ 7-36 mg/L​ 10 mg/L​ 5 mg/L​
Total Phosphorous​ 4-6 mg/L​ 1 mg/L​ 0.5 mg/L​

​Project Updates

On March 7, 2023, City Council approved the WIFIA (Water Infrastructure Financing Innovation Act) Credit Agreement (WCA) and authorized staff to insert interest rates and the repayment schedule into the agreement.  Negotiations for State Revolving Funds (SRF) are currently underway. 

​Frequently Asked Questions

Here is an initial set of questions on the project. Watch for additional questions and answers to be posted. Please use the form to the right to submit your questions.

About Our Biological Nutrient Facilities

expand Title : 01. Where are the facilities being updated located? ‎(1)
expand Title : 02. What are Biological Nutrients? ‎(1)
expand Title : 03. Why is Wichita investing in a Biological Nutrient Project? ‎(1)

Project Features

expand Title : 01. What will the project address? ‎(1)
expand Title : 02. What is being done at each of the facilities? ‎(1)
expand Title : 03. What are the benefits of the project? ‎(1)

Costs and Financing

expand Title : 01. What is the City doing to minimize the project costs? ‎(1)
expand Title : 02. How is the project being paid for? ‎(1)

​Project Events

Steering C​ommittee Public Meeting
April 7th 2023 at 3 pm
City Hall
1st Floor Boardroom
455 N. Main, Wichita, KS 67202

Steering Committee Public Meeting
Sept. 16th 2022 at 9am
City Hall
1st Floor Boardroom
455 N. Main, Wichita, KS 67202

Contractor Outreach Meeting
Aug. 25th 2022 at 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Advanced Learning Library
Conference Room A
711 West 2nd St N, Wichita, KS 67203

District Advisory Board 3 Meeting
Aug. 3rd, 2022 at 6:30pm
WATER Center, 101 E. Pawnee.
DAB 3 Video

District Advisory Board 5 Meeting
June 6th, 2022 at 6:30pm
Firestation #21, 2110 N. 135th St. W.
DAB 5 Video

District Advisory Board 2 Meeting
May 9th, 2022 at 6:30pm
Rockwell Branch Library, 5939 E. 9th St. N.
DAB 2 Video

District Advisory Board 3 Meeting
May 4th, 2022 at 6:30pm
WATER Center, 101 E. Pawnee.
DAB 3 Video

​Send us your questions on the Biological Nutrient Removal Project

We are currently gathering questions from the community and ensuring our technical staff can provide the most accurate information. We will compile the most commonly asked questions and answer them here.

Submit a Question


​Press Releases​​

12-03-2021 - Wichita Selected to Apply for WIFIA Loan for BNR Project

​Bid Packages

Bid Package 1