Every day, Omaha is being forced to dump about 65 million gallons of raw, untreated sewage into the Papillion Creek, near the mouth of the Missouri River.
The putrid flow is expected to continue for weeks, if not months, until repairs can be made to the city’s flooded wastewater treatment plant near Bellevue.
The plant typically treats and cleans about two-thirds of what the Omaha area flushes or sends down a drain. But it had to be taken offline in March after floodwaters inundated about half of its buildings.
The sewage discharge is legal because of exceptions under state and federal environmental law for events beyond an operator’s control. But officials are concerned about potential health impacts downstream from Omaha.