West Allis considers fund to help homeowners repair sewer laterals

April 16, 2014

To help keep rainwater from overwhelming sewage treatment facilities resulting in dumping diluted sewage into lakes and rivers, West Allis officials are thinking of setting up a fund to help homeowners afford to fix leaky sewer laterals that let the rainwater in.

Sewer laterals take waste water from homes to sanitary sewers in the streets that go to wastewater treatment facilities.

At the same time sewer laterals age and become increasingly leaky, especially in older sections of the city, West Allis is under an enforcement ruling to reduce the amount of rainwater getting into its sanitary sewers.

So, the proposal is for all single-family, duplex and three-family homeowners to chip in $40 annually to the fund. If their laterals need relining to make them watertight, they would only pay $1,500 instead of the estimated $5,500 it would cost to have the work done privately, officials said.

But if it's an emergency repair, the tab would be $3,000 with the fund's help, compared with an estimated $12,000 if the lateral is in the street and $4,000 if the lateral is in the yard.

Information about the proposal will soon go to homes and a public hearing will be set.

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