COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
A property owner has submitted plans to the city which include the possibility of a new water tower in southwest Columbia, which pressure problems have plagued for years.
Crockett Engineering Services sent a letter on Nov. 21 to the City of Columbia, requesting the location of 5800 S. Route KK, which is the southwest corner of Route KK and Scott Boulevard.
Columbia's southwest neighborhoods have been dealing with low water pressure since at least 2016 and there have been discussions of adding a water tower in that area since then. City officials met with Columbia's Water and Light Advisory Board in July to discuss these issues and the possibility of a water tower being built.
According to some southwest Columbia residents, the city should have had a new water tower by 2021. The city said in July that it has narrowed down locations for the water tower but it is still working with property owners and doing evaluations to make sure those locations will be best.
ABC 17 News spoke with southwest Columbia resident and CoMo Safe Water Coalition cofounder Julia Ryan said members of the city staff thought they didn't need a water tower and believed irrigation was causing the water issues. Ryan believes Columbia Water and Light doesn't have a good handle on the situation.
“I think there’s been some public pressure when you have consistent weeks of boil advisories. And those things are happening," Ryan said. "You know, you can’t continue to blame irrigation and that happening. You’ve got to start to look at you have not set up the infrastructure correctly.”
“In the big picture, we just want water and light to actually communicate and to do it pro actively, to do it ahead. So people are understanding that things are happening. And I think that’s been one of the biggest failures of water and light over the last decade here in Columbia," she said.
Crockett Engineering, which is designing the project, and Columbia Water and Light were not immediately available for comment.
The City of Columbia in 2019 made plans for a municipal service center on this tract of land that would include a water tower. The project was estimated at that time to cost about $2.7 million.