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EPA Expands Real-Time Monitoring of Kansas City Area Streams and Launches KCWaterBug Mobile Application

Release Date: 06/25/2012
Contact Information: Kris Lancaster, 913-551-7557 or lancaster.kris@epa.gov (news media only)

Environmental News

NEWS MEDIA ADVISORY

(Kansas City, Kan., June 25, 2012) - EPA and local partners will gather on Wednesday, June 27 in Riverside, Mo., to announce an expansion of water-quality monitoring of Kansas City area streams and introduce a related application for smartphones and mobile devices.

The free application is available now for iPhone, iTouch, and iPad through Apple’s iTunes store. A version for Android phones will be available in the future.

EPA is providing $156,000 for in-stream monitoring equipment and satellite technology to supplement an existing urban water monitoring network installed by EPA staff in 2011. One use of data collected by the equipment is to provide real-time estimates of bacteria concentrations in streams, which allows citizens to make informed decisions regarding recreation.

The free mobile application was developed in conjunction with the University of Missouri-Kansas City as part of a broader collaboration called KCWaters. The application provides users with a color code for each of 10 streams denoting recreational activities that should be acceptable based on an estimate of the average concentration of E.coli bacteria that might be found in the stream during the previous hour.

EPA oversees the protection of water quality as required by the Clean Water Act. The Agency is working with the public, community leaders, local and state agencies to meet the growing needs and demands on our water resources.

WHAT: Expansion of monitoring of Kansas City area streams and rollout of free mobile application

WHERE: Renner Brenner Park, 2901 NW Vivion Road, Riverside, Mo. 64150

WHEN: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WHO: EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks, Riverside Director of Community Relations Meredith Hauck, six EPA environmental scientists, and 12 elementary-age students

VISUALS: Water monitoring equipment is at the site. EPA scientists will have instructional booths and teach students about water chemistry as well as biology of streams. Students will examine fish and insects that indicate stream health, and learn how various land uses and urban runoff can affect local streams.

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