"Minne Lusa Pumping Station - Water Treatment Plant"
Was located on John J. Pershing Drive near the Water Treatment Plant run by the Metropolitan Utilities District.
Click on the picture for an enlarged view
The Minne Lusa Pumping Station was erected in 1886. Although the building shown here no longer stands, the current location contains the Water Treatment Plant Museum, run by the Metropolitan Utilities District.
Florence has an important role in supplying the Omaha metro area with clean water. There are several buildings and pools of water along John Pershing Drive just south of the Mormon Bridge. This area is used by the Metropolitan Utilities District to treat water extracted from the Missouri River, which in turn supplies a lot of Omaha's water.*
The Missouri River water is pumped into three large sedimentation basins where the sand and silt is removed, and then returned to the river. The cleared water is pumped into primary treatment basins where lime is added to help remove dissolved materials (softening the water). Further treatment involves adding Alum to the water, which causes very fine particles to stick together and settle to the bottom, making them easier to remove. Chlorine is added to destroy bacteria, along with chloramines (choride and ammonia), further disinfecting the water.* To top things off, a tiny bit of Fluoride is added to help prevent tooth decay. Except for the fluoride and chloramines, the added chemicals are removed by filtering the water through sand, which every 120 hours is cleaned by back-flushing.
In the past, Florence was also important in supplying ice. Starting with cutting ice blocks when the Missouri River froze over, Mr. Charles Keirle formed American Water Works to supply ice to a large part of the Midwest. Settling basins were built to allow sediments in the water to drop to the bottom. The ice from the settling basins were clearer and as such, were a penny more per pound. The American Water Works, changed to the Florence Water Works as part of the Metropolitan Utilities District.
Ice continued to be a major product for M.U.D. up until the railroad stopped operations in Florence. Some historic photos of the M.U.D. ice making operations.