The North Bend Eagle

North Bend's 56-year-old sewer plant has reached the end of its useful life, according to a report from JEO engineers.

Council presented with sewer options

by Nathan Arneal
Published 4/26/23

The North Bend City Council was presented a number of options to upgrade its sewer system and replace its sewer plant at the April 18 meeting, and none of them were cheap.

Representatives from JEO Consulting, who acts as North Bend’s city engineer, presented the council a 131-page wastewater facility plan.
North Bend’s sewer plant was built 56 years ago. JEO’s report said it has reached the end of its “useful design life.”

“As time continues to pass and this infrastructure continues to age,” the report said, “more and more maintenance will be required over time. Initiating a project proactively ensures proper wastewater treatment, thus mitigating a potential emergency situation and permit violation.”

JEO presented the council with eight options.

The first two options involved getting video of, cleaning and fixing up the current sewage drainage system of pipes and lift stations, which would be required before building a new treatment plant. The combined cost for these two options was estimated at just over $1.9 million.

The rest of the options involve replacing the sewage treatment plant on the east edge of town.

One option is to shut down the treatment plant and send North Bend’s wastewater to Fremont for treatment. Originally it was hoped that North Bend would be able to build a pipeline to the western edge of Fremont and join Fremont’s sewer system there.

However, the volume of sewage North Bend would be bringing in was deemed too much to add to that point in Fremont’s system. Instead, North Bend would have to extend its pipeline another 11 miles all the way around Fremont to that city’s treatment plant on the southeast corner of Fremont. In other words, the section of Fremont farthest from North Bend.

The price tag for the Fremont option came in at just over $16 million.

The other five options give different alternatives for building a new sewage treatment plant in North Bend, some of them involving lagoons. These alternatives range in cost from $6.9 million to $11 million. Three of the five options would save the city between $5,000 and $40,000 per month in operation and maintenance costs.

The council decided to take until its next meeting to digest the information and the study before choosing an option. Once an option is chosen, the city will start to explore financing options.

In other council business:

• Scout Christina Kavan presented plans for her Eagle Scout project. She wants to build an outdoor classroom north of the Scout Cabin on the north end of the city park. It would include landscaping, a fire pit and benches. The council gave approval for the project.

• The council approved a resolution for the city’s participation and membership in the Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District.


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