Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) invites local communities to apply for up to $500,000 to demonstrate effective ways of reducing inflow and infiltration into the regional wastewater system from private property sources.
Inflow and infiltration (I/I) is when clear water—stormwater and groundwater—enters the sanitary sewer system. It can overload the system and cause costly sewage backups into homes and buildings. It can also cause sewage overflows into rivers and lakes.
“Local governments and the Council have made good progress in reducing I/I from the publicly owned portion of the wastewater conveyance system, and those efforts continue,” said Jeannine Clancy, MCES Assistant General Manager for Technical Services. “Reducing I/I from private property sources is key to protecting public health and the environment, and will ensure that the capacity of our current wastewater infrastructure can accommodate regional growth.”
Successful proposal will include ‘micro-metering’ to locate I/I sources
The $500,000 grant will support a project that adds to the current knowledge base of technically effective and cost-effective strategies to reduce I/I. A successful project proposal will:
Demonstrate effective techniques for reducing I/I from private infrastructure
Use sub-metershed flow metering (also known as micro-metering) to locate sources of I/I with the proposed project area
Measure the impact of I/I reduction on base and peak wastewater flows
Detail the cost-effectiveness of the reduction strategy
A successful project will include strategies that other communities could apply to their own wastewater systems.
Communities must apply by Aug. 31 and match Council funding
MCES will require the grantee to provide at least a 100% match to the dollars requested. MCES anticipates that only one project will be awarded the $500,000 grant.
Proposals will be accepted no later than Aug. 31, 2018. MCES will evaluate proposals based on the value of the project (65%), ability to manage and complete the project (15%), age of housing stock in the community (10%), and financial need (10%).
Funding for the grant comes from the Council’s property tax levy and does not use any state or federal monies.
I/I Demonstration Project Grant Request for Proposals.
I/I reduction requires multiple approaches
Communities and MCES have been working for decades to reduce I/I in publicly owned sewer systems, investing hundreds of millions of dollars to repair cracked pipes, broken joints and deteriorated maintenance holes. But up to 80% of I/I comes from private property sources, such as cracked sewer service lines leading from a home or building to the street, or incorrectly connected sump pumps.
A 2016 I/I Task Force recommended that MCES support a demonstration project that provides additional measurement of the impact of I/I in local sanitary sewer systems, which led to the demonstration project grant program. Among the other task force recommendations was development of a “robust public outreach program” to educate the public about the impacts of I/I and ways to reduce it. In response, MCES created a website with resources for local governments and property owners.
Collecting and treating excessive clear water in the local and regional wastewater systems consumes capacity that was designed and is needed to accommodate growth in the region. I/I ultimately results in the need to build bigger pipes and more treatment capacity, which is very expensive. The current value of the regional wastewater collection and treatment infrastructure is valued at $7 billion.