DNR funds water line replacement
Lake Street homeowners will not be charged
By Angie Landsverk
Property owners on a portion of Waupaca’s Lake Street will have their water lines replaced at no cost to them.
The work will take place as part of the Lake Street project, which includes milling and paving on one part of the street and reconstruction and water main replacement on another part of it.
The project is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Sept. 5.
The city applied for and received Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Lead Service Line program funds to cover the cost of replacing the private water lines on Lake Street, between Fifth and Eighth streets.
The water main on that portion of the street dates back to the 1930s.
That four-inch main does not meet today’s DNR standards, and the city learned when it did a test hole this summer that there are lead goosenecks present in the system.
The city suspected there might be some lead components in the system when it began planning the project.
DNR and Environmental Protection Agency guidelines are that when any part of a public service line is replaced, the private water lines up to the houses should also be replaced.
That is because the partial replacement of a lead service line may lead to elevated levels of lead in the water.
The Public Service Commission does not allow a public utility to pay for private expenses.
The part of the service line from the right of way to the house is the responsibility of the property owner.
The city was in the midst of planning the Lake Street project when it learned DNR funds were available for private replacement in communities where water lines may contain some lead components.
The city applied for the funds and learned during the week of Aug. 7 it is eligible for up to $200,000 in funds.
That amount is more than the city anticipated, Justin Berrens, the city’s director of public works, told the common council during its Aug. 15 meeting.
During that meeting, the council voted to award the bid for this portion of the project to David Tenor Corportation, of Green Bay, in an amount not to exceed $106,000.
The city received three bids for the private water service line replacement project, ranging from the low bid of $101,092 of David Tenor Corp. to a high bid of $114,407.
The $106,000 bid the city approved includes a 5 percent contingency.
Mayor Brian Smith commended Berrens for identifying a funding source to cover the cost of replacing the private water lines.
“It’s a great project. And Justin, I compliment you on finding ways to help our residents at very little cost, if any,” he said.
Berrens believes 40-some municipalities were initially interested in applying for the DNR funds.
About 30 of them applied, and each of those municipalities received funds, he said.
The city has three years to use its $200,000 in funds and will need to decide where to use the $94,000 in funds remaining after the Lake Street project is complete.
Berrens said the Lake Street project has been broken into two projects: the public portion and the private part.
In April, the common council approved the bid of De Groot Inc., of Green Bay, in an amount not to exceed $290,000 for the public portion of the project.
During the project, Lake Street will be closed to through traffic from South Main Street to South State Street and from Fifth to Eighth streets.
The detour will be Main Street to Badger Street to School Street.
Berrens said County Trunk E on State and Berlin streets will remain open during the project.
That means the portion of Lake Street from South State to Berlin streets will also remain open, except when work is taking place there, he said.
Berrens also said the intersection of Eighth, Lake and School streets is to remain open.
However, there will be times when that intersection will need to be shut down, such as for the tying in of the water line, he said.
The first step in the Lake Street project will be to install temporary water service from Fifth to Eighth streets, Berrens said.
Once that is done, contractors will start working on the water main and service line replacement from Fifth to Eights streets, he said.
That part of the project will be followed by concrete work, which will include curb, gutter and sidewalk, as well as improvements to the sidewalks at Berlin and Fifth streets, Berren said.
“The very end will be paving,” he said.
The project is expected to be completed by mid October, Berrens said.