21 Aug 2014
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Live West of Oakland? Your Home May Be Targeted for Sewer Repairs

The village is shifting the focus of its sewer plan to leaky laterals, the piping which connects homes to the sewer system, and is footing the bill — for now.

Live West of Oakland? Your Home May Be Targeted for Sewer Repairs Live West of Oakland? Your Home May Be Targeted for Sewer Repairs

The village is shifting the focus of its comprehensive sewer plan to leaky private laterals, with a plan to rehab and repair 463 over nine years.

Next year Shorewood hopes to repair 75 laterals — the pipe which connects homes to the village’s sewer system — at a cost of $526,000. Half of the funds will come from money already borrowed by the village, the rest from a Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District program. The village says it will need the permission of property owners — as the laterals are actually owned by the property owner — before they can conduct the work.

The 75 homes have been identified as properties with laterals most in need of repair and provide the biggest benefit to the whole sewer system, Village Engineer Mustafa Emir said.

"These first 75 have been selected based on they have been found statistically as the worst," Trustee Jeff Hanewall said. "We are trying to get to the worst area and worst laterals right away."

The firm Clark Dietz will provide engineering services for $13,910, under a contract approved Monday night by the Village Board.

Plans have the village rehabbing 49 laterals each of the next four years at $343,000 annually, and then 48 each of the following four years costing $336,000 annually. Officials say they will televise the pipes then likely entirely or partially line them. All of the homes targeted are west of Oakland Avenue.

However, after 2013 it’s unclear whether MMSD will continue to offer funds under its current program.

That led trustees to discuss whether to ask residents to pay a portion of the cost of the lateral repairs, and the fairness of paying the cost of repairs for some homeowners in the first year, but not in subsequent years. Trustees said the work is for the public good, in the fact it benefits the village as a whole and not just the individual.

“Even if we don’t get MMSD funds in the future, I think we have enough financially to maintain the integrity of the plan,” Trustee Patrick Linnane said. 

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Shorewood officials began working on their sewer plan after the village was saturated by rain late July 2010 that caused severe flooding and basement backups. Officials say a portion of the flooding was due to leaky laterals.

The village's project is a crucial component of its strategy to reduce leakage in the western portion of Shorewood by 40 percent by 2035.

The work comes on the heels of completed sanitary and stormwater projects in the west portion of the village.

Contracts after the bidding process will be brought to the Village Board before work moves forward.

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