Application Spotlight Location:

City of Kansas City, MO


To find a durable and economical system for agitating its mixing tanks. The plant, originally used wheels made of wood and driven by motors and chains. This system worked, but did not hold up to the torque and weight of the water. A second attempt, to design a fiberglass plate wheel, also failed to take the stress and torque.


Over the past 20 years the Kansas City Water Plant has replaced 38 motor and chain drives in their primary and secondary mixing tanks with one 40 horse blower. The blower supplies air to 40 fiberglass drive wheels that are directly in line with mixing paddles. Each 13′ diameter Water Wheel has eight half round buckets that when filled with air will start the wheel turning. As the submerged wheels turn in the water, each wheel can generate enough torque to drive up to 400′ of mixer paddles.

The first wheels were made of wood and they only held up long enough to assure the concept would work. Next they tried making the wheels from flat fiberglass plates and again the torque and weight of the water was too much. In 1988 Yankee Plastic Co. (now doing business through Crawford/Monoxivent) was asked to design a better water wheel. The resulting design has proven to be very reliable. The City of KC has installed several new water wheels each year for the last 15 years – completing a total of 40 to finish the project.