Residents on the city's southwest side should watch their step for the next several weeks.

That's because Waukesha's sewer rehabilitation work, which began in February, has made its way over to that side of town – and onto public sidewalks and streets. The work requires temporary above-ground sewage flow, via external pumps and piping, from manhole to manhole, according to city staff familiar with the project.

The rehab project extends to the west from Waukesha's Clean Water Plant to South Comanche Lane and Crestwood Drive, and is scheduled to conclude May 26. The work involves reconstructing or repairing manholes as needed, cleaning the sewers, installing a structural liner in the sewer, sealing the joint between private service laterals and the public sewer and any restorations that may be necessary as a result of the work, according to the city's public works department.

Contractors are using a "trenchless lining process" for the work, which, according to the DPW, avoids the time-consuming, disruptive and expensive excavation that digging up and replacing the sewer would normally require.

"Generally, the lining process proceeds from manhole to manhole," city project engineer Jonathan Schapekahm said. "While a given segment of sewer is being lined, the contractor will set up pumps and piping above ground to bypass the sewage flow around that segment.

"At times, these pipes need to cross the roadway, so special ramps are used to allow traffic to cross the piping. The bypass pumps and piping are monitored by the contractor 24 hours a day while they are running."

According to the city's website, similar rehabilitation work on Waukesha's east side is scheduled to begin this spring. That project has an Oct. 6 end date.

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