Fremont is one of the oldest municipalities in the State of Nebraska with the water system starting in 1885. The electric system was started in 1895, wastewater treatment in 1964, and the natural gas system was acquired in 1985.
Water - 1885
The first well was tested in 1885 which used pipe made at the local foundry and was said to pump 700,000 gallons of water per day and was at a depth of 23 feet. The first water mains were laid in 1885 and the original water works went into operation with a capacity of 100 gallons per minute (GPM) or 150,000 gallons per day (GPD). The original standpipe was 112 feet tall and was located on the south side of the city park at Eighth and Park Streets.
Today, the water system has a total capacity of 22 million GPD and consists of eight wells at the well field south of town, four in-town wells, and a 5-million-gallon reservoir. The system has over 150 miles of pipe, 2,526 valves, and 1,211 fire hydrants with treatment consisting of chlorine, polyphosphate, and fluoride.
Fremont won the Nebraska Best Tasting Water contest in 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2018 and is a member of the American Water Works Assocation.
Electric - 1895
The Fremont Department of Utilities has produced electrical energy for Fremont's residents since 1895. The first electric light plant was located at Eighth and Park Streets and at first only supplied electricity for street lighting and operated from sundown to 11:00 p.m. The plant first offered 24-hour service in 1907 and continued in limited operation until 1976. Coal-fired electric generator units 1 through 5 were located at this facility.
The numbering of generator units continued with the construction of the Lon D. Wright Power Plant and Unit 6. Unit 6 construction began in 1955 with regular operation beginning in 1958. Regular operation of Unit 7 began in 1963 and regular operation of Unit 8 began in 1976.
The Lon D. Wright Power Plant is located at First Street and Luther Road. Units 6 and 7 were designed with natural gas as the primary fuel and coal as the backup fuel. Coal is the primary fuel for Unit 8, with natural gas as a supplemental fuel. With the gas shortage occurring in the mid-1970's, the operation has been using coal as primary fuel, with natural gas and propane used for startup and flame stabilization.
These units remain in use today and are Fremont's primary source of electric generation.
Wastewater - 1964
In 1964, the Fremont Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) was constructed and included a bar screen, grit washer, 2 primary clarifiers and two digesters for solids handling. Prior to 1964, wastewater was sent directly to the river.
There have been multiple upgrades over the years including in 1972, 1994, 1998 and 2012. The most recent upgrades began in 2017 and included four phases to meet State and EPA regulations and handle new industry loadings and spanned several years.
- Phase 1 included a new aeration basin, blower building, and an upgrade to the secondary pumping station.
- Phase 2 included three anaerobic lagoons, anaerobic building, and gas scrubbing system.
- Phase 3 included the addition of a second egg-shaped digester for solids handling.
- Phase 4 included a new aeration basin, one anaerobic lagoon, pump building, final clarifier, and a new ultraviolet disinfection system.
These upgrades make Fremont a state-of-the-art WWTP that will be able to treat the current waste loads for the next 20 years.
Gas - 1985
The natural gas system was acquired by the City of Fremont from Freeport McMoRan in 1985. At that time, the gas system in Fremont consisted of 165 miles of main and 9,236 service lines. Today, the gas system consists of 220 miles of main and 10,167 service lines and serves the communities of Fremont and Cedar Bluffs.