Flash flood that hit sewer plant is costing city plenty

The City of Quincy might have to spend millions of dollars on its sewer treatment plant.

Millions of dollars to repair and possibly upgrade

after a flash flood hit parts of the plant earlier this year.

The city has already spent more than $600,000 to repair the damage to the electrical system at the plant.

Flood water got inside the facility and damaged electrical panels and control switches.

That's the first time since the plant went online that anything like this has happened. It's seen it's share of flood water close to the facility but water has never gotten inside. In April of this year, a severe storm sent eight feet of flood water through the plant.

Now the City of Quincy is on the hook for paying for repairs, despite having a contract with a private vendor who operates the plant.

"There was a clause what they call a force du jour clause in there that says we're not going to sue you if anything happens and its very controversial thing that was put in the contract. Obviously the first thing the insurance carrier did was to look at our contract with American Water to see whether or not they could sue them and they found out they couldn't," David Kent, who is the director of utilities for the city said.

Besides Kent, City Council member Jim Musolino also voiced his displeasure at the current contract that has a hold harmless clause that prevents EMC , the private contractor, from being held financially liable for the damage.

"And I'm concerned about why they don't want to meet us half way. They're in a partnership with us and I would be happy if they met us half way. Accidents happen and things do happen and now the citizens have to pay out 500 thousand and that is a deep concern of mine that there is no liability on their part," Musolino said.

The city said it's looking at moving some of the panels from the area that was flooded so it won't happen again. That would send the cost of repair into the millions.

Kent added
the current contract with private contractor EMC expires in 2015.

This flooding incident is a first for the sewer treatment plant.