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Omaha’s regional sewer system serves approximately 600,000 customers in Omaha, Bellevue, Bennington, Boys Town, Gretna, La Vista, Papillion, Ralston and Carter Lake, Iowa. The combined sewer area, located east of 72nd Street in Omaha, has:
Of these 29 outfalls, 10 discharge into Papillion Creek and 19 discharge into the Missouri River. Three have recently been eliminated and five more are to be eliminated in the future.
The federal government has identified at least 772 communities nationwide, including Omaha that must reduce their combined sewer system overflows in order to improve water quality in the receiving stream. Most of these communities are located in the Pacific Northwest, Great Lakes, and Northeast portions of the country. This federal mandate means we must reduce the number of combined sewer system overflows to the Missouri River and Papillion Creek from about 52 per year to under eight per year or achieve 85 percent capture of the wet weather volume. Unlike federal mandated improvements to wastewater treatment facilities in the 1970s and 1980s that provided federal funding to support the projects, the federal mandate to reduce the occurrence of CSO discharges to the receiving streams is not federally funded. Thus local users of the system are required to pay for the improvements.