Pilot program to fix city's sewer problems and avoid basement water backups

The City of Milwaukee, and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District have teamed up on a pilot program that could help fix the city's sewer problems, and avoid basement backups during heavy rainfalls. There are 563 properties in the area between North 82nd Street and North 92nd Street that will undergo upgrades as a part of the pilot program.

Ed Klotzbuecher's home is one of those on the list. He says he's happy the city is taking this action to hopefully avoid future backups.

"It's a valid and valuable project for this neighborhood, because the people up the street on 91st Street have had water problems pretty near every year!" Klotzbuecher said.

Officials say the problem is leaky laterals from private properties that hook up to the city sewer system. The leaks cause overflows in the sanitary system, and the area was found to have an excessive amount of water pouring into the system, which leads to basement backups. Crews will dig a hole into the laterals, and clean them out.

Martin Aquino is the engineer in charge of the project, and says they will use a robotic system to push a flexible liner from the main pipe into the lateral pipe. A camera will be inserted, which will let the operator know when the liner is in place at the lateral. The liner will then adhere to the pipe, and harden.

The program is voluntary, and is funded completely by MMSD, and the City of Milwaukee.