PIPE CHECK

mmsd pipe check logo

Program Goals

The Pipe Check program provides residents within the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) service area a financial incentive to eliminate sources of clear water entering the sanitary sewer system. Excess clear water in the sanitary sewer system increases the risk for basement backups for yourself and for your neighbors during rain events.

Are you a contractor looking for information on the Pipe Check program? If so, please visit our contractor page.


graphic of a house with bad lateral and property

Example of an Improperly Connected Sewer System

(Click image to view larger)

graphic of a house with a good lateral and property

Example of a Properly Connected Sewer System

(Click image to view larger)

Participation Requirements

Participants must meet the following requirements to participate in the Pipe Check program:

  • Property is located within the MMSD service area
  • Home is an owner-occupied one or two-family home
  • An Approved Contractor is used to complete all required work (approved contractors listed at bottom of page)
  • A Clear Water evaluation is completed by an Approved Contractor
  • All work identified as being required to be completed during the Clear Water evaluation is completed
  • W‐9 must be filled out and submitted to MMSD. The value of the financial incentive is taxable. MMSD will provide 1099 at the end of the year
  • Participation waiver must be signed by the homeowner

What is Clear Water?

Clear Water is not contaminated with sanitary waste and does not require treatment at the wastewater treatment plant. Typically, clear water comes from rain runoff and groundwater. Importantly, clear water that does not enter the sanitary sewer can often times naturally re‐enter the environment without adverse effects—either by soaking into the ground or flowing to a creek or river.

What is an Approved Contractor?

An Approved Contractor has been selected through a review process, completed by MMSD, to determine that their skills and experience qualify them to participate in the program and offer their selected services. An Approved Contractor needs to be used by the homeowner to receive the financial incentives. Approved contractors are listed at the bottom of the page.

Clear Water Evaluation

Completed by an Approved Contractor, a Clear Water evaluation identifies sources of rain or groundwater entering the sanitary sewer system from private property. The maximum financial incentive available to the homeowner is based on the findings of the Clear Water evaluation. 

During the Clear Water evaluation, the contractor identifies the discharge locations of existing foundation drains, sump pumps, and rain gutter downspouts. If any of these items discharge into the sanitary sewer, they will need to be disconnected and rerouted to a building code-approved location in order to qualify for the financial incentives for lateral replacement or lining.  The list of financial incentives is listed below.

How Do I Participate in the Program?

  1. Homeowner contacts an Approved Contractor (listed at bottom of page)
  2. Approved Contractor completes a site visit and a Clear Water evaluation.
  3. The contractor reviews the Clear Water evaluation with the homeowner and identifies the work required to be completed to receive the financial incentives.
  4. If the homeowner agrees to the work, a contract is executed between the homeowner and the Approved Contractor and the homeowner will be required to fill out a W-9 to participate in the pipe check program.
  5. The full scope of work is completed to the satisfaction of the homeowner and the requirements of the Pipe Check program.
  6. The Pipe Check program pays the Pipe Check Incentives directly to the Approved Contractor on behalf of the homeowner.
  7. The Pipe Check Approved Contractor shall bill the homeowner, the remaining portion of the work, per the requirements of the contract.
  8. The homeowner pays the Approved Contractor the remaining amount due.
  9. MMSD will send participating homeowners a 1099 at the end of the calendar year.

Questions? Please submit our contact us form

Financial Incentives

The financial incentives provide homeowners a reduction in cost to complete critical private property infrastructure repairs, but will not cover the full cost of the work that will be completed. The total cost of the work is dependent on the existing conditions within the home, the length of your lateral, and the chosen repair technology implements. Your chosen approved contractor will provide you an estimate for the cost of the work required to be completed under the program prior to signing a contract with the approved contractor. All costs above the value of the provided financial incentive will be the responsibility of the homeowner.

The Pipe Check approved contractor will complete all documentation required by the program and all financial incentives shall be paid directly to your chosen contractor. The financial incentives will be deducted from your total due to the contractor at the completion of the work. 

Learn more about private property inflow and infiltration courtesy of CRD Victoria.

Why is a W-9 Required for the Pipe Check Program?

MMSD is a public agency and must report benefits to individual property owners in excess of $600. Therefore, MMSD is required to collect W-9s from all homeowners who participate in the Pipe Check program. MMSD will send the property owner a 1099 at the end of the year. It is the property owner's responsibility to review any implications of participation in the Pipe Check Program with a professional tax consultant.

Foundation Drain Disconnection     
Install sump pump & discharge piping, disconnect foundation drain from sanitary sewer lateral, and remove existing palmer valve. Pipe Check will pay $1,500 towards this work.

Remove Palmer Valve, Only 
Identify the location of palmer valve, remove existing palmer value, cap foundation drain, and restore the site. Pipe Check will pay $350 towards this work.

Reroute Existing Sump Pump Discharge
Disconnect existing sump pump discharge piping and reroute to a building code approved location. Pipe Check will pay $300 towards this work.

New Storm Lateral, Connected to Existing Storm Sewer 
A new storm lateral is installed from the house to an existing storm sewer. Pipe Check will pay $1,000 towards this work.

Disconnect Downspout
Disconnect existing gutter downspouts from the sanitary sewer and reroute to discharge in the yard or storm lateral (max of 4). Pipe Check will pay $25 each towards this work.

Full Lateral Replacement Without Work in Right‐of‐way
A full lateral replacement is completed via open cut or pipe bursting but no work is required to be completed within the right‐of‐way. Pipe Check will pay $4,000 towards this work.

Full Lateral Replacement With Work in Right‐of‐way
A full lateral replacement is completed via open cut or pipe bursting but work is required to be completed within the right‐of‐way. Pipe Check will pay $5,000 towards this work.

Lateral Lining
A cured in place pipe (CIPP) is installed in the lateral from under the home to the connection at the sanitary sewer mainline. Pipe Check will pay $1,500 towards this work.


Approved Contractors