Orono sewer infiltration graphic.jpg

Inflitration occurs due to cracks in a pipe, deterioration and root intrusion. (Graphic courtesy of the City of Orono)

A new city ordinance takes effect Jan. 1, 2021: the Point of Sale Sewer Service Inspection Program. This means that an inspection of a home’s sanitary sewer service line must be completed prior to the sale of a property.

What does it entail? Owners must schedule an inspection of their service line and make any necessary repairs to the service line. The inspection is aimed at detecting points of inflow or infiltration into the pipe (aka cracks, separations, root intrusions or cross connections).

When does it apply? When a property is being sold that does not already have a current certificate of compliance. A certificate of compliance, good for 10 years, will be issued after a successful inspection of a new or existing service line.

Why do we need the program? The goal of this program is to reduce excessive flows that enter the sanitary sewer system as a result of Inflow and Infiltration (I&I) via private sewer service lines.

Since sanitary sewer rates are based on the number of gallons that flow through the city sanitary sewer system, transporting and treating clear water from I&I is costly to everyone.

Over the past five-plus years, the city has been investing in sealing the city infrastructure, however, this is not enough. We still continue to see high volumes in the system following wet weather events. While the city will continue to work to improve the public portion of the system, we must do something to address the I&I coming into the system from the privately maintained portion of the system.

Metropolitan Council Environmental Services Division (MCES) estimates up to 80 percent of I&I makes its way into the systems from pipes on private property. The MCES, which provides regional wastewater collection and treatment for the metropolitan area, requires communities with excess I&I to invest in local reduction remedies and to urge compliance; MCES incorporates surcharges for communities with excess I&I.

How is your waste water treated? Wastewater from private properties reaches the city sewer mains via private sewer service lines. The waste water then travels via city sewer mains and lift stations to reach MCES regional sewer mains. These MCES mains in turn transport the waste water to a Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant, operated by the MCES, where it is treated and released.

For more information or to schedule your sewer service inspection please visit the city website: http://www.ci.orono.mn.us/501/Inflow-Infiltration-II-Point-of-Sale

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