Ishpeming City Council approves televising 95,000 feet of sanitary sewer

Ishpeming Mayor Karl Lehmann and Ishpeming City Manager Mark Slown listen as Councilor Pat Scanlon (not pictured) asks questions about the sewer televising project. The Ishpeming City Council voted unanimously to approve reallocation of Stormwater Asset Management and Wastewater program funds to televise 95,000 feet of the city’s sanitary sewer infrastructure. (Journal photo by Lisa Bowers)

ISHPEMING — The Ishpeming City Council on Wednesday approved an engineering amendment that will allow the city to televise roughly 95,000 feet of its sanitary sewer system.

The work, which will be in addition to televising what has already been done, will be funded by $206,502 remaining from a $661,000 Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Stormwater, Asset Management and Wastewater grant the city was awarded in 2013, according to a March 11 letter from GEI Consultants Project Manager Mark Stoor.

Council action Wednesday allowed for reallocation of funds from the SAW grant, which provides for televising, metering and inventory of the city’s sanitary sewer system to televise portions of the system consisting of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC pipe.

GEI Consultants Project Engineer Brian Fabbri said initial plans for televising excluded portions of the system consisting of PVC, but those were added at the request of city officials.

City Manager Mark Slown said he felt it necessary to include as much of the system as possible to get a more accurate inventory of the city’s infrastructure.

“It’s complete garbage in, garbage out. If we don’t put accurate data in, we won’t have accurate data to look at,” Slown said. “That is why it’s so important that they map as much as they possibly can, including the PVC pipe, which is why I asked them to make this change.”

Fabbri said any part of the system less than 20 years old could not be televised, but the city will have access to an inventory or database of the infrastructure that was televised.

The end result, Fabbri said, will allow city employees to look at any part of the system that has been televised via a geographic information system map.

“You click on the portion of the map and you can see the camera getting pushed through the pipe,” he said.

The project also includes flow metering, to measure the impact of stormwater “infiltration and inflow” within the sanitary sewer system.

“The flooding conditions last year, and the flow metering that accompanied them, showed significant infiltration and inflow deficiencies within your sanitary sewer system,” the letter states. “In order to evaluate and prioritize more manageable areas for reduction of (infiltration and inflow) within the sanitary sewer system, we are recommending installation of additional flow meters in smaller areas.”

GEI’s recommendation includes about 10 meters in addition to a rainfall intensity gauge.

“With the 10 meters we are going to try to pinpoint locally, to get an idea where the next project should happen,” Fabbri said.

He said SAW grant program work should be completed by November.

Lisa Bowers can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.