Wichita City Council to vote on audit for utilities divisions

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The goal is to save $3 million in utilities costs by the end of 2023. To make that happen, the Department of Public Works and Utilities is pursuing an audit by an outside company.

The Wichita City Council is expected to approve a one year $309,575 contract with Burns and McDonnell to audit the city’s 14 utility plants and pump stations.

In September 2018, the city formed the Utilities Optimization Program to reduce costs and failure risks for water and wastewater systems.

“The UOP has established a goal of $3 million in annual firm savings across the utility divisions by the end of 2023, which is to be achieved in part by reducing utility energy expenditures by 10%, or $750,000 per year. So far, the UOP team has achieved $95,000 in annual savings from energy projects,” according to the agenda item.

The cost of the contract is expected to pay itself back within a year.

“What we’re looking for is a variety of low-cost, no-cost solutions. Some that will possibly be worked into our capital improvement projects and we can prioritize those, make sure we’re investing in the right things at the right time,” UOP manager Laura Quick said.

The audits will focus on three sites that are believed to have the greatest energy savings potential: Hess Pump Station, Cheney Pump Station, and the Lower Arkansas Water Resource Recovery Facility (Plant 2).

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