WEF Opens Private Property Virtual Library

The Water Environment Federation of Alexandria, Va., has launched the Private Property Virtual Library, a new repository of information about wastewater utilities’ private property-related programs that address inflow and infiltration in sanitary sewer systems, as well as building sewer maintenance issues.

Deteriorating pipe and the growing problem of excess stormwater and groundwater entering sanitary sewer systems are increasing demand on wastewater utilities and can ultimately lead to sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs), even after the public sewer mains have been repaired or replaced. Many utility managers must decide which is the most feasible and cost-effective solution for their community: to treat excess sewer flows from infiltration and inflow at a wastewater treatment facility; to contain SSOs by constructing large storage structures; or to remove infiltration and inflow entering the public sanitary sewer system through privately-owned building service connections.

Working on the issue since the mid-1990s, the Federation's Collection Systems Committee conducted a highly successful Webcast on private property issues in 2005 and began gathering information about successful private property programs across the country. Intended as a resource for utilities seeking information or advice about private property programs, the library aims to improve private property systems nationwide by providing a forum for utilities to compare technologies and solutions, alleviate complications, share experiences, and exchange ideas. Focus areas include: sanitary lateral repair or replacement; infiltration and inflow source detection and elimination; lateral condition assessment; privately owned pump station operation and maintenance; and sewer easements.

To date, more than 25 utilities have shared detailed information on their successful programs for the library, which will be updated and expanded as more communities share their successes and additional private property related challenges are identified. Current library resources include an interactive discussion board, sample questionnaires, public education materials, letters to residents, ordinances and codes, operating and maintenance procedures, and design details and specifications.

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