The Whitefish Bay Village Board decided months ago to move forward with the most intensive level of storm sewer upgrades possible, but due to the large size of the pipes prescribed in the plan, engineers first have to determine if those pipes can even fit in the ground.
To determine the size and location of the existing pipes underground, the village is purchasing software that will create three-dimensional maps of underground infrastructure using utility data that is already being used as part of the GIS system purchased last year.
Village Engineer Dan Naze said the computer-aided drafting (CAD) program would shows any conflicts with implementing the most aggressive solution, which would protect homes from a 500-year storm similar to the flooding the village experienced on July 22, 2010.
"They can take all this data that already exists and essentially provide us with where storm sewer upgrades were recommended and fairly simply provide us with information about where conflicts are," he said. "If there are conflicts, then (the software can) go back and tell us what level of storm water we can convey or whether it's doable at all."
Trustees authorized the $11,410 contract for the work to Donohue & Associates, the engineering firm that conducted the village-wide storm and sanitary sewer study last year. Naze said the CAD mapping project is expected to be finished by mid-March.
If the top two levels of protection are hampered by physical limitations, Village Manager Patrick DeGrave said the three-dimensional drawings will be useful to show the public why pipes cannot be bigger in some areas.
"This will be a huge tool for staff and for everyone else to see just what the capabilities are for burying a structure underground," he said.