Wauwatosa public works staff expects that the plans to repair the sanitary sewer system in the Ruby Avenue neighborhood would prevent flooding in basements as a result of sewer backups if rain falls at the rate seen during the June storms of 2008 and 2009.
But whether the designed pipe size and pitch could handle the amount of water that fell on the area during floods that occurred in 1997 and 1998 remains up in the air.
Consultants are studying the scenarios before taking the project to the Common Council for approval to complete the design and submit plans to Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District for its approval. Construction could start this summer.
There is a caveat to the expectation of eliminating basement backups, City Engineer Bill Wehrley said. The MMSD's system has to be functioning without any excessive backups that could cause problems down the line.
And there was a "fluke" incident a few years ago when sewage in MMSD's pipes backed up 12 feet, but it didn't occur after a large rainfall. In those unexplained cases, extra precautions, like installing sump pumps and disconnecting foundation drains, would be needed to prevent backups.
The city could build a pump station to handle these rare incidents, but at an anticipated price tag of $500,000, that goes above the level of protection city staff want to provide, Wehrley said.
The Ruby Avenue area is just one part of the city that has experienced flooding.
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Wauwatosa Weekly Planner: Sept. 4
- On The Move: September 4
- Athleta coming to Mayfair
- In Brief: Three aquatic parks, including Hoyt Pool, to stay open through Monday
- 88-year-old passenger dies after three-car crash in Tosa
- Police say train accident was 'apparent suicide' by Oak Creek man
- Wauwatosa Police Report: Aug. 28
- Wauwatosa Ask Now: Why is parking allowed on both sides of Menomonee River Parkway?
- New associate principals at Wauwatosa East High School come from Milwaukee, Waukesha
- Tajikistan visit expands outlook on food sources and heritage for Wauwatosa West students