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Orchard Heights Sanitary Sewer and Drainage Improvements

Lafayette, Indiana

The Orchard Heights subdivision experienced sewer backups after heavy rainfalls, with even light rainfalls causing backups when the ground was saturated. The Wessler team provided a three-phase solution to ending the backups.

Phase I: Wessler staff performed smoke testing of the sewer system to identify source of inflow and infiltration (I/I).

Phase II: the Wessler team provided manhole rehabilitation, lift station evaluation and Cured in Place Pipe (CIPP) lining to eliminate infiltration.

Phase III: green infrastructure measures included hybrid ditches and water quality treatment to help retain and reduce the amount of stormwater that enters the sewer system while providing homeowners with a drainage outlet for their sump pump discharge.

The Orchard Heights sanitary sewer and drainage improvements involved the assessments of 69 sanitary sewer manholes and the smoke testing and closed-circuit televising (CCTV) of 19,000 linear feet of sanitary sewers to:

  • locate sources of I/I
  • evaluate the structural condition of the infrastructure
  • find hydraulic bottlenecks that may cause backups within the system.

Findings were evaluated and developed into engineering reports summarizing the needs of the subdivision’s collection system.

Smoke testing exposed 37 sources of I/I and 33% of the manholes needed immediate repair. CCTV review revealed nearly all segments were constructed with aging vitrified clay pipe (VCP) and the overall system was in moderate to poor condition. City officials chose to rehabilitate all the VCP segments with CIPP.

The Wessler team prepared bid documents, performed construction administration and provided resident project representative (RPR) services. Lafayette utility staff reinstated 131 lateral connections to the sewers and nine point repairs.

Stormwater improvements included 4,600 linear feet of ditch grading, CIPP lining rehabilitation, new storm sewers and hybrid ditches in three selected project areas.

The results of the overall project have been significant. For example, prior to the project, city officials used to receive 40-50 complaints per year of sewer backups and sewage in basements. After implementing Wessler’s solutions, officials only received one complaint in a year which followed a major five-inch rainfall.

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Joseph Bartos, P.E.

Wastewater Collection Assistant Group Head

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