Plattsmouth wastewater treatment plant photo from March 2019

The Plattsmouth wastewater treatment plant was shut down because of floodwaters, as shown in this photo from mid-March.

Plattsmouth continued its long recovery from Missouri River flooding with the selection of an Iowa company to make repairs to the community’s wastewater treatment plant.

The City Council this week awarded a $2,295,000 contract to Building Crafts Inc. of Red Oak to do the repair work. The firm was the lowest of three bidders, Erv Portis, the city administrator, said Thursday.

The work includes repair or replacement of the plant’s processing, mechanical and plumbing components.

The plant is expected to be back online in June, halting the approximately 1 million gallons of untreated wastewater that the city dumps into the river each day.

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“This isn’t everything that we need to do, but it’s enough to get us in compliance with the discharge permits,” Portis said. “It’s been a long, tough slog, but we’re working with the federal and state groups and making progress.”

City officials have identified the Four Mile Industrial Park as the likely location if a new wastewater treatment plant is built away from the flood zone. Portis said that project is a long way from being nailed down.

The next milepost of progress will come in 45 days, when the second of the city’s drinking water wells is expected to be back online.

Before the March flooding, the city operated with five wells.

“Every night is a sleepless night when you’re operating on one well,” Portis said.

Plattsmouth’s water plant, which supplies drinking water to about 7,000 people, resumed full operation in September, when the first well was restored to service. Residents had been ordered to conserve water while the city was hooked up to a Cass County water line.

Officials also continue to talk to the Army Corps of Engineers about finding a way to seal the Platte River bank breach that is sending water down Schilling Road, Portis said.

“We’re committed to getting (repairs) done and getting them done right,” he said. “We need to protect this community.”

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