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Funding Infiltration & Inflow (I & I) Reduction on Private Property

by Chris Stamborski 23. July 2014 03:44

Private property is a major source of infiltration/inflow (I & I) entering into dedicated wastewater or sanitary sewer systems. Various efforts are underway in Wisconsin, and nationwide, to not only identify these sources, but develop remedies to reduce the amount of flow entering these systems. An important aspect of these efforts is providing financial assistance to local government for investigation and installation of best management practices. This article will explore some of the ways in which this type of work is either currently being funded, or may be funded, in the future.

In southeast Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) developed a program in 2011 titled “2010-2020 Private Property Inflow and Infiltration Reduction Program.” The program is focused on developing and implementing remedies for I & I from private property sources to reduce the amount of flow that must be stored, conveyed and treated by MMSD.

The MMSD has $62 million budgeted for communities within the district over the 10-year period of the program. Each community is allocated funds based on their proportionate share of billings to the MMSD.  Each community may spend up to 20% of their allocation on investigative activities, with the balance of the funds going towards the implementation of a project. It is important to understand that the actual amount allocated and dispersed to eligible communities is dependent each year on the District’s annual budgeting process and inter-municipal agreements set up prior to the start of any defined project. 

The following tasks (to be completed on private property only) are eligible under MMSD’s program.

  • Disconnection of foundation drains from sanitary sewer
  • Installation of sump pumps related to above foundation drain disconnection
  • Replacement of deteriorated lateral sewers
  • Rehabilitation of deteriorated lateral sewers (i.e. CIPP lining, etc.)
  • Complete disconnection of laterals
  • Installation of privately owned storm laterals to convey stormwater
  • Inspection/investigation costs (i.e. dye testing, CCTV and flow monitoring)
  • Professional services--planning/design, preparation of bidding documents, direct project management
  • Construction inspection costs
  • Public education and outreach

Upon adoption of rule revisions anticipated in spring of 2015, the Clean Water Fund will be another resource for financial assistance for Wisconsin local units of government and sanitary districts for lateral lining work on private property. Lateral lining work on private property is considered an eligible activity under the Clean Water Fund if certain legal requirements are met. If a local unit of government or sanitary district and the homeowner(s) enters into a “limited scope maintenance easement,” the local government is allowed to assume legal rights to reline the private lateral, and thereby, be eligible for Clean Water Fund assistance. The financial assistance would be in the form of a reduced interest loan, or in the case of a municipality meeting financial hardship criteria, a grant.

R.A. Smith National has provided assistance to 22 local governments in Wisconsin, including several utility districts, with either a limited, or comprehensive, sanitary sewer evaluation study (SSES). We serve many of our clients on an ongoing basis as they have repeatedly contracted with R.A. Smith National for a continuum of services.

More Information
Visit our SSES web page to find out more about our SSES services. For more information or to discuss a project need, contact Chris Stamborski, P.E., assistant director of municipal services, at 262-317-3337.

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Why is Wisconsin (and the Midwest) Square?

by John Casucci 12. June 2014 04:30

When on an airplane or viewing Google Earth, have you observed how roads create a grid pattern?  Have you ever wondered why it is that way?

The simplest answer is because land surveyors in the early 1800s established the grid pattern.  But there’s really a more interesting story behind why Wisconsin (and the Midwest) is square.

For those of you old enough to remember, put yourself into the setting of the television show Little House on the Prairie that aired back in the 1970s and 1980s. Your family purchased 40 acres, built a cabin and began farming. As you finish plowing and planting your field, you look up and see your neighbor’s wagon and family walking across your just-plowed field on their way to town. You see, the original survey instructions did not address roads or traveling through the subdivided lands. Only after the Midwest was settled did the county or local government allow landowners to petition for the creation of a public road right of way. At that time it made sense to have each landowner contribute to the creation of the roads, so most were established along common property lines that just happen to be the grid patterns established by the first surveyors. 

So the reason why the Midwest is so square is because the land was subdivided that way…AND the grid is the result of the 1800s road agreements to keep neighbors off each other’s land!

So how was it decided to create the grid pattern?
As a result of the Louisiana and other land purchases, the West was open to subdivision and settlement.  At the 1785 Continental Congress, Thomas Jefferson is largely credited with the concept of “survey before settlement.” Several factors influenced the subdivision of the land:

  • Immigrants were streaming into the country, creating a huge demand to settle in the West.
  • The US Treasury had an urgent need for money.
  • There was a need for surveyed boundaries to avoid conflicts with settlers and the government.
  • Surveyed boundaries allowed the settlers to FIND the land (no realtors back then).
  • Land prices were low, $1.25 an acre, which created a need for fast, efficient survey work.
  • Surveyors earned from $4 to $10 per mile, split between a crew of five to eight men.

Original instructions for the division of land in the early 1800s called for the creation of townships. Townships were created by running lines with a magnetic compass every six miles: in a north–south direction (range lines) and east-west direction (town lines). Townships were created as a 36-square mile block, numbered from Section 1 to Section 36.

After the townships were surveyed, other surveyors were charged with creating and monumenting the interior 36 Sections, each one mile by one mile square. Monuments were set every 1/2 mile. This procedure established the framework of the four-quarter sections of each section. 

Quarter Sections 

Breakdown of Quarter Sections

Monuments were whatever was plentiful nearby. In Wisconsin, wood posts were set. In the Plains, an earth mound was created or stones were carried to the corner to create a pile of stones.  It was expected as the land was passed from generation to generation, the owners would perpetuate the original monuments.

So now you know the whole story behind why Wisconsin (and the Midwest) is square and why land is subdivided the way it is!



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