The federal mandate is to reduce the number of raw sewage overflows into metro rivers and streams. Clean Solutions Omaha has a progress report on the program.
The city's sewer separation project is about to make its way into another neighborhood. Paul Waldmann lives in the Country Club area and says things are much better since construction work on the sewers was completed. “The sewer separation, the backup we had, a lot of problems and prior to that time we did this we would have backup or back flow."
The city plans to do much more than blow things up and rebuild. This is a multi-solution plan that includes sewer separation. Building large underground storage tanks, storm water tunnels and treatment plants not only will this help solve the problem it will also save money. The program will cost the city of Omaha $2 billion to complete. The money comes from bonds and from us, the rate payers.
“When we started this program in 2006, a typical residential household paid about $10 a month,” said Marty Grate with Omaha Environmental Services. “Right now, the same family pays over $30 a month. When we look at 2017, that monthly residential customer could be over $50."
When the city digs down to check out the sewers, it also gives workers a chance to replace old gas or water lines. Waldmann believes all of this work is necessary. “The cost has got to be done. We've put off too much deferred maintenance. This street right here, all you have to do is look at it. This should have been done a long time ago."
A public meeting is being held at the Kroc Center, 2825 Y Street Thursday evening to discuss the CSO project along Missouri Avenue and in the Spring Lake Park area. Residents will be able to review the plans and ask questions.