Mayor Chris Beutler lifted the voluntary water use restrictions late this afternoon. Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Director Miki Esposito said one of the City's large horizontal wells is now in operation and production capacity has increased to 60 million gallons a day. Historic flood damage at the City's water production facilities along the Platte River led the City to impose mandatory water restrictions Sunday, March 17. The voluntary restrictions have been in place since Wednesday, March 20.
"I want to thank Lincoln residents and businesses for all they did to conserve water this week," Esposito said. "Our Assistant Director of Utilities, Donna Garden, and our LWS crews demonstrated their teamwork and efficiency all week, and our community can take great pride in the outstanding efforts of these City employees. I also want to thank our state and federal partners who have helped us in many ways to deal with the aftermath of the unprecedented flooding."
Lincoln Water System (LWS) provided a preliminary estimate of $15 to $17 million in repair costs that are eligible for reimbursement from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Esposito said the preventive flooding assistance from the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, the National Guard, and other emergency responders helped to minimize cost and safeguard LWS infrastructure from further damage during the flood. The City will seek reimbursement of up to 75 percent of repair costs from FEMA as a result of the federal disaster declaration for the State of Nebraska.
This weekend, LWS crews will continue wellfield clean up, inspect additional infrastructure, make necessary repairs, bring more wells online and conduct water quality tests. The City's water has been safe to drink throughout the emergency.