100 newly designed manholes installed all over Kansas City

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Newly designed manhole covers are taking Kansas City by storm. Water Services just installed 100 of them throughout the city, and they carry an environmentally friendly message.

The new design is meant to remind those walking around to stop putting trash down the storm drains because many of them lead to rivers, streams and creeks.

Earlier this week, Kansas City Water Services installed the final two new storm drain covers in a neighborhood at 74th and Lydia. The new design is a result of a contest held two years ago. More than 50 people ages 5-to-50 submitted entries, and two winners worked together on the final design.

Water Services says the new manhole covers cost the same as the old ones, and this initial order of 100 is just a drop in the bucket considering there are 50,000 storm drains in the city.

The new manhole covers have been put in high traffic areas such as  Zona Rosa, the Power and Light District, and Kauffman Stadium – to make sure people see them.

"Places where people actually stand on manhole covers, so walking districts like the Plaza, Crown Center, bus stops and our combined and separate sewer area," water quality educator Lara Isch said. "We're trying to make sure people actually see them, and they're not put in a neighborhood in a back corner somewhere."

Water Services are saving the old storm drain covers and will use them as replacements when one gets damaged or destroyed. The city says they're waiting to see what the public thinks of the new manhole covers before they decide if all future manholes will feature the new design.

"We are going to see how Kansas City accepts it and what they think about it," Isch said. "And then we might have another contest for a new design, we might make this the standard, we might use some of the elements in this contest to make a new design standard, it's kind of up in the air at this point."

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