Blair Mayor Jim Realph told an emergency meeting of the City Council on Wednesday that public works employees are building an earthen berm to protect its water plants from Missouri River floodwaters.
Realph said he is confident that the approximately 5-foot berm will protect water for Blair residents and large employers such as Cargill.
The city's water plant and its sewage treatment plant are separate facilities at the same location, just north of U.S. Highway 30 near the Missouri River.
“I think that we are as prepared as we can be for any contingency at this point,” Realph said.
The mayor told the council that the sewage treatment plant also will be protected by the berm but it may have to use its pumps to push treated sewage into the river. Typically, the treated sewage runs downhill and simply drains into the river.
If the water plant should be compromised by floodwaters, Blair has access to drinking water through an MUD pipeline that has served rural residents since 2004.
That pipeline would supply enough potable water for residents, but not industry, the mayor said.
Realph also declared a state of emergency that gives the city the power to use money from any available income source to prepare for flooding.
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