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In Mobile, Alabama, increasing regulations have required the major municipal water and wastewater utility, the Mobile Area Water and Sewer System (MAWSS), to evaluate many methods to reduce inflow and infiltration (I/I) into its sanitary sewer collection system. Studies that included flow monitoring and isolation have been performed to delineate the system into priority areas that are subject to large I/I flow increases during rain events. Many types of collection system rehabilitation projects are ongoing in these priority areas. However, some of the priority areas are densely populated residential areas where aged and severely deteriorated sanitary sewer laterals make up approximately 65% of the collection system piping. These laterals may be responsible for up to 70% of the I%I measured in these areas. Since approximately 60% of the sanitary sewer laterals lie on private property, the Private Sanitary Sewer Lateral Replacement Program (SSLRP) has been employed since January 2000 and has served as an effective and efficient means to require property owners to replace defective sanitary sewer laterals on private property outside of easements or public right-of-ways. Essentially, the SSLRP is performed in two distinct processes performed by separate contractors – the testing and identification of defective private sanitary sewer laterals (PSSLs) and the replacement of defective PSSLs essentially at the cost of the property owner. In addition, the SSLRP acts as a system to monitor the MAWSS section of the sanitary sewer laterals that are located for testing and replacement and allows MAWSS to prioritize which individual laterals should be replaced from the property line to the existing sanitary sewer main. A detailed program methodology, consistent penalty system, and close coordination between MAWSS, the engineer, and the contractors have been key to the program's success. As of May 15, 2001, more than 20,500 linear feet of PSSLs have been replaced and approximately 10,000 linear feet of additional PSSLs has been identified for replacing in these priority areas. Due to the success of the SSLRP, it is anticipated that this program could be easily adapted to other urban area collection systems that wish to confront I/I contributed from the private sector.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2001

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