PLATTSMOUTH - Plattsmouth city officials and engineers are aiming to have “band-aid” repairs complete on the wastewater treatment plant and water treatment plant by September,  if not sooner.

Record-high flood levels on the Missouri and Platte rivers in March knocked both plants out of operation.

For the most part since March, the city has been forced to bypass the wastewater plant and directly discharge untreated waste into the Missouri River. Plattsmouth residents have been on strict water restrictions since the spring flooding. They have been encouraged to purchase most of their potable water from local businesses and forgo watering their lawns and other outdoor projects needing water.

Steve Perry,  James Olmstead and Jeff Frey of Olmsted and Perry Consulting Engineers in Omaha detailed the scope of work to restore the plants during the council’s July 1 meeting.

Perry: “After the main flooding came, a contractor was hired to clean the plant. Things were pretty well cleaned up and an assessment of damage was done. All the buildings were damaged but the clarifier building.”

Progress, however, has been made since March.

Frey: “The digester building was damaged. All the buildings were damaged but one. Now, the raw sewage building is up and running and wastewater is going through the plant without any treatment…It’s a large flow now.”

Frey said three pumps distribute the sewage to be treated in sections of the building.

Frey: “All three pumps have been rebuilt and the motors rebuilt. The system that keeps the pumps running is on a variable speed drive. The variable speed drive has been replaced. Some electrical at the wastewater plant is good, but most of it will have to be replaced.”

Extensive work is still needed on the grit removal building, primary clarifiers, intermediate and final clarifiers, recirculation chamber, chlorination chamber, chlorination building, gas burner control panel and piping and raw sewage building.

The short-term goal is to meet at least the minimal treatment standards required by the state and federal government as soon as possible.

Frey: “There has been quite a bit of electrical work done to make that [treatment] happen.”

Councilman Steve Riese asked Frey to define “minimal” amount of treatment.

Frey: “There is a lot of work to be done to even get it to the minimal level. I think a month will put you into compliance.”

At the water treatment plant, city employees have been cleaning the floor and walls.

“Some electrical work is done. There is power running to Well No. 8, which we need to do the rest of the work. There is a lot of work to be done on the electrical at the water treatment plant and it’s all at the front door.”

Perry outlined several phases of work to be done at the water plant including restoring electrical service to the plant and well field; cleaning and restoring Well No. 8 to service; disinfection of the filter media project; installation of new chemical feed pumps and equipment; cleaning, inspecting an repairing all piping; replacing two compressors; cleaning and inspecting the re-carbonation tank and clarifier; replacing carbon dioxide tank; cleaning and disinfecting the piping and exterior clear well.

 Perry presented the council bid documents for the work at both plants. Bid documents for repairing the wastewater plant will be complete July 18 with work tentatively starting July 31. The estimated completion date is Sept. 30. Bid letting for the water treatment plant work is set for July 18 with work tentatively commencing June 25. The completion date is June 28. 

City Administrator Erv Portis: “Funds have been appropriated for this.”

Councilman Doug Derby: “Are we still talking September?”

Olmstead: “We’re trying to beat that date.”