Deep Sewer Tunnel Cleaning Project

MCES Project No. 819016

Project Description

Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) is cleaning large diameter sanitary sewer pipes at six sites in the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. This work began in 2021 and will be completed mid-July 2024.
Cleaning activities include:

  • Inspecting the pipes with CCTV and sonar equipment to confirm quantities and locations where debris will be removed
  • Cleaning the pipes using high velocity water jetting equipment and removing debris with pumps
  • Drying the debris and hauling it to a licensed landfill.

Jetting and debris removal will be conducted through existing access structures with minimal surface disruption and pavement restoration. Work will be conducted in existing rights of way under traffic, or overnights to minimize traffic disruption. 

Overall project map with four areas highlighted: Downtown Minneapolis, Boom Island Park, and East River Parkway in Minneapolis, and Irving Park in Saint Paul.

East River Parkway: begins August 2022

Sewer cleaning work at East River Parkway and Thornton Street begins early August 2022 

Cleaning activities include:
  • Cleaning sanitary sewer pipe along East River Parkway between Oak Street and Thornton Street.
  • Inspecting the pipes using CCTV and sonar equipment to verify debris
  • Removing debris from pipes using high velocity jetting equipment and pumps
  • Hauling dried debris to a licensed landfill
Sewer Tunnel Cleaning: East River Parkway and Thornton Street Info Sheet (PDF)


Cleaning will occur Monday through Saturday between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.


Cleaning Process

To clean the sewer pipes, one crew will use special equipment with hoses to jet water through the pipes and another crew will remove the debris and haul it to a licensed landfill. Crews will need to move this setup to several different locations to clean the sewer pipe in this area.

Once the hoses are set up at a maintenance access structure, they will remain in place until cleaning has been completed at each location. 

We will continue to do our best to mitigate noise and odors, but you will experience more noise and odors than usual while crews clean the sewer structures and pipes.

Photo of orange sewer cleaning equipment

Project Updates

Sewer Tunnel Cleaning: East River Parkway and Thornton Street Info Sheet (PDF) 549 kB

Project Staff


Project Manager: Jeff Schwarz, Area Project Manager, Interceptor Engineering
Council's Authorized Representative: Jennifer Adams, Principal Contract Administrator, Construction Services

Project Contacts

For information, please contact:
Call our project hotline: 612.930.4423


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