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All About Drinking Water – Drinking Water Engineering

Turning on a faucet is an everyday occurrence that most people have likely taken for granted at one time or another. In reality, there is a complex set of systems and processes behind this seemingly simple action, and it takes a team of engineers to ensure that water from the tap meets all federal and state standards.

At the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy (NDEE), engineers are a vital component in the department’s commitment to ensuring that Nebraskans have reliable and safe drinking water. NDEE drinking water engineers review engineering plans and specifications; issue construction permits; inspect newly constructed projects; and assist owners and operators of public water systems, consulting engineers, government officials, and the general public in matters relating to design, construction, maintenance, and operation of public water systems.

During the state’s 2023 fiscal year, NDEE engineers reviewed and approved 178 drinking water projects in communities across Nebraska. Typical projects evaluated by the engineering team include water mains, public supply wells, water storage systems, water treatment plants, and pumping station construction projects among others.

Engineering staff also work in concert with Drinking Water Monitoring & Compliance staff on construction timelines for systems under an Administrative Order, water quality monitoring requirements for wells and water treatment plants, and evaluation of impacts of new drinking water regulations. Additionally, NDEE drinking water engineers work alongside Drinking Water Field Services staff on inspection related issues that require an engineering consultation.

NDEE’s Drinking Water Engineers work with communities that need to upgrade their facilities. To help facilitate these projects, NDEE engineers may meet with municipal officials, funding agencies, and consulting engineers to help develop strategies — like pursuit of low-interest loans through the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Program — that can help bring drinking water projects to fruition for Nebraska communities.