Olsson Associates


New wastewater treatment plant keeps the flow in Crete

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Linda Van Hoosen, Communications

For many people, the thought of where wastewater ends up doesn’t cross their minds. Dishwater, laundry, flushing the toilet, taking a shower… it all goes somewhere. Most cities have a wastewater treatment plant, or similar facility. These large facilities take in wastewater and removes contaminants. However, these plants age and are in need of repair, and sometimes need to be replaced.


The plant in Crete, Nebraska, was one such community badly in need of a replacement.

In 2012, Olsson Associates was hired to design Crete’s new wastewater treatment plant. The original facility was built in the mid-1970s, with updates completed in the late 1980s. Olsson provided many services for the $11 million project. Olsson was chosen because of the complexity of the project. Craig Reinsch, project manager for construction, said the firm was able to address all of the components needed to build a new plant. 

“We are able to bring in multiple project partners which included many teams from Olsson,” said Craig Reinsch, project manager for construction. “That included our Public Infrastructure, Mechanical/Electrical, Survey, Geotech, Automation Technology, and Structural teams.”

Craig said the project finished ahead of schedule and within 2 percent of the original bid.

Most wastewater treatment plants have a 20-year design life. Upgrades and maintenance are necessary as the plant ages. Craig said many structures last longer than that, but it was time to replace the plant in Crete because of regulatory issues and capacity. Regulations, population growth, and technology typically play a role in changes needed at treatment plants.

The new plant, built at a different location from the old facility, has average and peak-hour capacities of approximately 1 and 3 million gallons per day, respectively.

Craig said a wastewater treatment plant is much like a modern medical advancement. It wasn’t too long ago when wastewater was mixed with drinking water and led to widespread diseases such as cholera and dysentery. Today, plants like the one Olsson designed in Crete are keeping residents safe from those health risks.

The new plant went on line this month.

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