KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Northland residents are getting a big gift for Christmas: The city opened a new $5 million water pump station to fix water flow issues that have plagued residents for years.
"This is the first new water pump station we've constructed since the 1990s," said Terry Leeds, director of KC Water.
There is a new flow of water available to match the rising number of Northland residents.
"This water station will pump about 15 million gallons a day, and we'll pump it from here north to meet the growth demands of the Northland," Leeds said.
Mike Klender with KC Water said the Northland has needed a second pump for a while.
"We had one pump in the old building, and it was a liability for our customers because if that pump ever failed, we wouldn't be able to provide the pressures they need," Klender said. "Having this pump station takes away a lot of concern, burden and sleepless nights."
For more than 10 years, a single pump inside of a shed was what provided water for more than 80,000 people.
"We have almost 94,000 residents in District 1 and just a few years ago it was about 80,000. So we've really had a huge growth in KC in this area," KC Councilwoman Heather Hall said.
But as the population climbed, the water pressure didn't.
"It is frustrating and as someone with a lot of hair, I want to make sure the shampoo's out," Hall said. "I know that sounds like a silly reason to have something like this, but the big picture is we need the water to heat our homes and help do the things we need to do."
The new three-pump facility will be utilized most during the summer when water usage is at its highest. There's even room to install a fourth pump if and when there's another population spike.
But until then, the city wanted to be sure Christmas came early for its residents.
"These pump stations are interesting in the fact that they aren't needed until they're needed. Timing them out to make sure we're ahead of the curve is important," Leeds said.