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Mequon tables request for funding repairs to leaking private sewer laterals

May 10, 2012

Sensing a reluctance from residents living in the Ville du Parc area proposed for a private property infiltration and inflow study, Mark Lloyd, deputy director of Public Works, asked the Mequon Common Council on Wednesday for money to make repairs to private laterals.

The city is planning to spend $135,000 of a $779,725 allocated to the city from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District to televise private laterals and investigate other sources of I and I.

Fifty houses would be part of the study, but Lloyd said residents are unwilling to volunteer because they fear either they will be forced to fix the laterals at their own expense or they will have to disclose any problem that is not repaired should they decide to sell.

Lloyd estimated that the cost of completely replacing all the laterals would be $400,000 although complete replacement is likely a worst-case scenario.

Alderman John Wirth said the city should not fund repairs for a group of residents without first developing a policy to deal with how it would fund similar repairs for other residents. Wirth believes MMSD will eventually mandate repairs of private sewer laterals and that the city should have a policy on the funding for repairs.

Alderman Dan Abendroth, who represents the Ville du Parc area, said the investigation and repairs would provide the city with information on how to proceed with similar project. The repairs to the laterals at the 50 homes would be repairs that would benefit the system as a whole, removing clear water that presents a potential problem as it flows down the sewer system.

In the end the council tabled the resolution that would have allowed for the funding.

Lloyd said he will hold a public meeting for residents in the pilot area to explain the pilot program and ask for volunteers to participate.

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