As the first big step in addressing leaky private sewer laterals, a village committee is recommending engineers start televising sewer lines in the flood-prone southeastern portion of the village with the goal of learning which laterals need to be lined or replaced.
The program recommended by the Private Property Inflow and Infiltration Committee Wednesday night includes visual inspection and/or dye testing where permission is granted, or where legal, to investigate suspected clear water connections to the sanitary sewer.
Village engineers suggested the committee consider beginning the televising project in the area roughly bordered by Glendale Avenue on the south, Hampton Road on the north, Oakland Avenue on the east and Ardmore Avenue on the west, but commissioners suggested engineers look at incorporating the entire "basin 3" area, which extends further westward to Santa Monica Boulevard and north to Henry Clay Street. The basin includes about 390 homes. The inspection could begin as soon as this summer.
Village Engineer Dan Naze said the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District has prioritized improvements in that area because it was identified as poorly performing in the past. Additionally, the village conducted flow monitoring in this area last year, so this inspection would provide data on the effectiveness of tightening leaky laterals, as well as identify what volume of clear water can be identified as other sources of inflow and infiltration, including foundation drains.
READ: The PP/II Committee is also working on eliminating clear water from the sanitary sewer system by looking for downspouts that are directly connected into the ground and performing dye water testing.
Within the basin, there are some areas where no replacement or rehab work has been done, other areas where the main has been lined but no lateral work done and other areas where mains and laterals have been replaced in the right-of-way.
Village engineers originally estimated spending about $92,700 on the smaller 204-home project, but at the same $450-per-house rate, the new 390-home inspection project could come out to about $175,000. The village has roughly $180,000 in funds available from MMSD, and if that is depleted, the village expects to either pay for inspection through bonding or through a possible sewer utility district.
Once data is collected about leaks in the system, the village plans to front the money for lateral lining and replacement, and then assess the homeowner. The current village code does not allow the village to mandate complete lateral replacement, so an ordinance change would be required to implement any work plan for lateral lining or replacement.
The estimated cost to line or repair the leaky laterals in the area is roughly $6,100 per home, but village officials stress that number is very preliminary and no work plans have been bid out.
The commission's recommendation to move forward with the project is expected to be taken up at a Village Board meeting on Feb. 20.