Shorewood sets schedule for curbing sewer infiltration

Lateral linings should take 11 years

March 4, 2014

Shorewood — Shorewood will direct approximately $160,000 in village funds toward completing private sewer lateral rehabilitation work in its Basin 1 and 6 sewer systems this year, as part of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's mandatory Private Property Inflow and Infiltration Reduction Program.

After considering two alternatives proposed by staff, the Village Board on Monday chose to proceed with the less aggressive option of the two, which matches MMSD funding at 50 percent.

As determined by MMSD, Basins 1 and 6 of the village are currently "non-performing," due to excessive amounts of measured inflow and infiltration, according to a memo from village staff. Certain blocks within those have been specifically identified as having high or very high levels of wet weather flow, which in some cases has included extensive basement backup damage throughout the years.

With mainline, or public, sewer linings recently completed in the basins, attention must be shifted to private infrastructure in order to achieve meaningful reductions of inflow and infiltration, the memo states.

Leaks from private laterals

Last year was the first that private lateral linings were completed. That work combined with 2012 rehabilitation covered a total of 90 laterals, for an average cost of about $5,450 each, as stated in the memo. That leaves 373 private laterals remaining to be lined, with an overall goal of reducing system inflow and infiltration by 40 percent by 2035.

"The clear water is not supposed to be there. That is what is causing the basement issues. And this is one of the tools to remove that clear water," Public Works Director Leeann Butschlick explained. "The more water that you get out as quickly as possible, the bigger the benefit to the system as a whole."

Under the option selected for 2014, the village would be able to complete 59 lateral linings with a total of $320,000, including $160,000 each from MMSD and the village. The village portion would be covered with funds remaining from what was budgeted for 2012-13 lateral work, with the remaining $110,000 to be borrowed, Village Manager Chris Swartz said.

Beginning in 2015, the village anticipates receiving $92,000 annually from MMSD for the program. If the village were to choose to continue with a 50 percent match moving forward, the annual budget for private lateral repairs would be set at about $185,000, enabling the village to line 33 laterals each year and complete all targeted properties within 11 years — three years more than what the initial program timeline projected.

Trustee Thad Nation reminded trustees that the board made a conscious decision last year that it would look at funding for the program every year. Although the village committed to a 50 percent funding match for program work completed in 2012 and 2013, Nation stressed the need for the village to remain aggressive in getting the work done.

"Part of my problem with slowing down is it just starts the process of kicking the can down the road," Nation said, especially when the details of sewer-related issues in the southeast quadrant remain unknown. "Until we get that resolved, I would be inclined to be more aggressive where we can be. And this is one of the places we can be."

The more aggressive alternative, recommended by the Public Works Committee, proposed setting Shorewood's funding contribution at $250,000, well above 50 percent, which would require the village to borrow $200,000. With the $160,000 of MMSD funds available in 2014, the village would be able to complete 75 private lateral linings this year. If it maintained that level of funding in future years, with a total annual project budget of about $340,000, it could handle 62 laterals per year and complete all targeted work in six years — two years sooner than originally anticipated.

Extra expense not worth it

The board ultimately did not perceive the benefit of the more accelerated option to be worth the expense involved for the village. Trustee Michael Maher pointed out that $160,000 is still fairly aggressive, noting that the board would have the opportunity to accelerate the work in future years, if desired.

The village's lateral rehabilitation methods include lateral replacement, lining and grouting, as well as service tap grouting, depending on what type and level of repair is needed. Other work to address inflow and infiltration issues in Basins 1 and 6 has included public main lining and ongoing sewer maintenance.

Regarding the result of work that has already been completed, Butschlick told the board that DPW staff has been continually monitoring the two basins since 2012 and will have preliminary data available relatively soon.

"But I think to really see the impact of what the lateral lining program has done, we will have to wait for another season of rainfall," Butschlick said.

There are no plans at this time to implement similar initiatives in separate service area basins of the village.

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