The Sedalia Water Department recently began working on a multi-phase project to help improve public safety and residential service in the city.

The City of Sedalia says the water system is aging, with some parts around 100 years old. Over time there has been a steady calcium and mineral build-up that has reduced the inside diameter of 4-inch water lines to 2-inches, causing reduced water pressure for some residents.

Ryan Skaith

The City says the improvements will economically benefit citizens, as water pressure has a direct relationship to fire insurance rates. Those rates should decrease as improvements are made.

The first part of the project will focus on the area north of Broadway and west of the Downtown area. The city says this area has the greatest need for water system improvements. The old lines will be replaced with new 6, 8, and 10 inch lines to help increase available water pressure to customers.

The second phase of the project will focus on the area north of Broadway and east of Ohio Ave.

The third phase will then center on the area south of Broadway and east of Ohio Ave.

Along with water line improvements, several fire hydrants in the city will be repaired or replaced.

The cost for the improvement project is about $11.2-million. Residential water customers will see an increase of $3.14 per month, beginning with April 2018 water bills. The Sedalia Water Department says the increase is part of the monthly service charge. The volume charge is expected to remain the same. It was noted that businesses will also see monthly increase in water bills.

The City says the time-frame for completion of phase one is expected to be about 1-1/2 to two years. Work on the first improvement phase is scheduled to begin this summer (2018).

When the work begins, outages may occur but they are expected to be minimal and shouldn't last more than a few hours, according to a press release from the Sedalia Water Department.