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The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's (MMSD) 2010 Facilities Plan growth and flow projections indicated that portions of the existing metropolitan interceptor system (MIS) would be approximately 60 percent below the required wet weather peak capacity. Hydraulic modeling demonstrated that the MIS on the city's northwest side would surcharge when projected 2010 flows were applied, resulting in significant basement flooding and wet weather overflows. As part of MMSD's proactive approach to meeting growing demands on its system, these challenges are being resolved through an innovative 120 million relief system project that takes full advantage of the existing deep tunnel, the 405 million gallon Inline Storage System (ISS).

The Northwest Side Relief Sewer (NWSRS) tunnel, when completed in January 2006, will add about 22 percent to the MMSD's wastewater storage capacity, alleviate basement flooding in a significant portion of the MMSD service area, and make the existing conveyance and storage systems function more effectively.

The NWSRS is designed to function simultaneously as a wastewater storage tunnel component of the city's collection system, a relief sewer providing additional capacity to the MIS, and as a conveyance facility delivering wastewater to the treatment plants. The NWSRS is a 7.1 mile long, 20-foot diameter tunnel constructed between 120 and 165 feet below ground in dolomite bedrock. The project was awarded for construction in December 2001. The construction began in April 2002. The mechanized excavation of the tunnel was started in March 2003 and recently completed in April 2004.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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