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Omaha Public Works says Zorinsky Lake safe for recreation

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 7:27 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Repair crews have been working overtime, cleaning up after last week’s damaging storm. And for the past week, they’ve been tackling another emergency.

Nobody likes to hear the words “sewage spill” at a public lake, like Zorinsky. But the good news is, tests show water quality is safe for recreation.

“I think there’s so many benefits to recreating on water. I just say, ‘Come on out.’”

On a quiet mid-week afternoon, Lindsey Stockdale and her boyfriend said there were no signs of problems on or in the water, where three times in one week, wastewater discharge made its way into Zorinsky Lake. Now, Omaha Public Works Department officials say emergency repairs continue, and tests show the water is safe for play.

“We’ve done water-quality sampling for bacteria, and the levels we are seeing in the water is much lower than what the limits are for recreational water use.”

What’s happening with the water now doesn’t seem to be the biggest concern. The heavy vehicles are creating dangerous traffic conditions, made worse by pedestrians and cyclists crossing 168th Street to avoid the detours.

“If we have a closure of the bike paths, it’s really to keep the public safe because of construction work that’s going on,” said Stephen Andersen of Public Works. “So we’d appreciate that they do everything within their power to pay attention to those signs and stay away from those closed areas and trails.”

Work is expected to stop over the weekend, which means events like the Do Not Stop half marathon will go on as planned. And when the “Road Closed” signs aren’t there, residents can enjoy the trails at Zorinsky, like usual. Next week, intermittent closures will occur, so Public Works asks everyone to be patient.

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