Waldo home and business owners frustrated by water shut off with little warning

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Imagine turning on your faucet, only to learn the water's shut off. Businesses and homeowners in Waldo say it happened to them with little to no warning.

Business is back to normal at Bier Station in Waldo after an unpleasant surprise right before the lunch rush Wednesday.

"I got a phone call around 11 o'clock from my prep cook, telling me we didn't have any water. So obviously we can't operate a business without any kind of water," said Jacob Kruger, Bier Station general manager.

The restaurant and bar was forced to turn away paying customers during lunchtime.

"Two hours of revenue lost," Kruger said.

Frustrated, Kruger sent a Twitter message to Kansas City Water Services.

It turns out routine, not emergency, repairs were being done just up the street, forcing water service to be shut off for hours.

"We think about the safety of the public out in the field. Whether it's street plates, water on the streets, we try to do our best to get out there as soon as possible and take care of it," KC Water Services utility repair manager Aaron Balliet said.

Although McClain's Bakery got notified of the planned repairs Tuesday night just minutes before closing, they still opened Wednesday and had to shut down the shop early.

But Bier Station, Gregory Family Dental and several homeowners nearby said they weren't informed of the work at all.

"They said it was supposed to be eight hours worth of work, and I said, 'So you didn't find it necessary to tell any of the residents?' Then later we found out the businesses were affected, too," neighbor Lindsay Lewin said.

Lewin works from home and couldn't even use her restroom.

"I had no way to flush the toilet, so my dear friend who lives a few blocks north was kind enough he scrounged up a watering can and brought that over and left it on my doorstep when I was running to the store to buy bottled water to drink," Lewin said.

KC Water Services insists it does put out door hangers and notify affected customers 24 hours ahead of planned work that could cause service to be shut off.

But that apparently didn't happen for all those affected by Wednesday's work.

"This was one we had a street plate with water leaking in the street. Obviously with freezing conditions, it got raised to a higher level of scrutiny," Balliet said.

The work on the project is now complete and water service has been restored.

But if repairs are needed again in the future, neighbors hope they get a little more notice so they can adequately prepare.

During water projects, anyone with concerns is encouraged to contact the supervisor listed on shutoff notice door hangers. If you do not receive a door hanger or other notice, you can call the city's 311 line.

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