Bypass is expected to last a few days, could impact drinking water supplies
On June 18, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ), and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) are jointly issuing an advisory for the Missouri River downstream from the confluence of Papillion Creek and the Missouri River south of Omaha, Neb.
The City of Omaha, Papillion Creek, Wastewater Treatment Facility in Bellevue, Neb., lost power due to storm damage in the area, resulting in a sewage bypass that is expected to last for a few days.
The Agencies expect elevated levels of pathogens in the Missouri River as a result of this sewage bypass. Individuals are advised to avoid wading, swimming and other primary body contact with the waters of the Missouri River in the area and several miles downstream from river mile 597 at the confluence of the Papillion Creek and the Missouri River. Further downstream, individuals should minimize contact and make sure to wash their hands after coming into contact with water.
NDEQ personnel are in contact with the city and evaluating the extent of the bypass. Downstream drinking water suppliers have been notified by NDEQ and EPA. As soon as the power is restored and water treatment operations restart, updated information will be issued regarding this Advisory.