Upgrading a sewer line is not a glamorous or visible home upgrade, but it can be important. A backup could be worse and costly.
Rep. Mike Freiberg (DFL-Golden Valley) and Senate President David Osmek (R-Mound) sponsor a new law that will allow the Metropolitan Council and other local governing entities, such as townships, to establish inflow and infiltration prevention programs to make loans or grants to private property owners. Cities already have this authority.
It took effect March 5, 2022.
Inflow and infiltration is groundwater and stormwater that enters a sewer system through faulty infrastructure, such as root intrusion or cracked pipes.
In the Twin Cities metropolitan area, private service laterals connect to city pipes which connect to the Metropolitan Council’s regional wastewater system. Collection systems can be damaged when forced to transport more flow than they are designed to handle.
Increased precipitation and population growth in the Twin Cities metropolitan area has resulted in more water coming in to the system; however, about 20% of the currently collected volume that gets treated as wastewater is actually inflow and infiltration that does not need to be treated.
Supporters say a voluntary mitigation program for private property will be more cost efficient than building larger and additional infrastructure to treat clear water.