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2007 Media Releases


Date:
November 19, 2007
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Steve Masters, Public Works and Utilities, 441-7588


WASTEWATER MASTER PLAN OUTLINES FUTURE NEEDS

Mayor Chris Beutler today released the five-year update of the master plan for the City’s wastewater facilities. The report recommends that construction of new treatment facilities in south Lincoln will not be needed before the year 2055. Previous studies indicated a new wastewater facility would be needed to meet growth in southwest Lincoln by 2025. Beutler said as future planning is adjusted for actual City growth and emerging technologies, the date when a new facility is needed may be delayed even more.

"This is excellent news for our community," said Mayor Beutler. "Building a new wastewater treatment facility is a major undertaking with a big price tag. The new master plan provides us with some alternatives to handling wastewater in the rapidly growing parts of our community."

The master plan identifies the future needs for wastewater pipelines, operations and treatment for all areas of the City of Lincoln. It recommends the City handle the increased need with two options that are more environmentally- friendly than building new facilities: expanding existing wastewater treatment facilities and using underground peak flow storage facilities at key locations in the system.

"This finding is just one example of how the master planning process helps the City make short-term and long-term decisions about capital improvements, operations and budgets," said Beutler. "The plan will guide our discussions with prospective employers and developers as we work to open new areas for businesses to locate or expand. The most important factor is that we continue to protect public health and the environment as the City grows."

Steve Masters, Public Utilities Administrator in the City Public Works and Utilities Department, said the update used new concepts in predicting pipeline flows and for the first time, incorporates the use of peak flow storage. He said it takes into account the current City-County Comprehensive Plan as well as the improvements that have been made in the wastewater system since the master plan was updated in 2003.

"About 200 miles of our 970 miles of existing sewers are more than 100 years old," said Masters. "It is crucial to regularly study and plan for the future replacement and construction of new sewer capacity."

Carollo Engineers worked with the City to complete the update, which also ensures the City’s compliance with State and federal operating permits, regulations and other requirements.

The operation and maintenance of the City’s wastewater system are funded by user fees and not taxes.

The master plan will be available in about 30 days on the City Web site, lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: wastewater).


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