Wolf Lake, MN – Sewer System Upgrade

Challenge

Wolf Lake’s sewer system experienced failures almost immediately after it was built in 2000. Nearly the entire system was substandard and needed replacing. Plus the city’s topography wasn’t conducive to building typical wastewater collection and treatment systems. In addition, the improvements had to be affordable for residents and businesses that had already shouldered the cost of past failures.

Solution

Moore Engineering designed a collection system that used pressure sewers along with conventional gravity sewers to overcome topographical issues, and used directional boring installation methods for the sewer lines.

Outcome

The most significant issue to overcome during the initial phases of the project was to find a way to make it affordable to the users of the system. The City had already incurred significant financial hardship through construction of the original failed system as well as trying to operate and maintain that system. The City had little or no capacity to incur debt with the appropriate corrective action being recommended. Additionally, the projected operation and maintenance costs associated with the recommended corrective action were higher than what the City had anticipated from the original system.

Therefore, an effort was made to design and construct a project that would fall within the limited grant programs available to the City and not to incur any debt. Those grant programs were the Corrective Action Grant Program previously mentioned and the Small Cities Development Program provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Fortunately, the project was able to meet the goal of incurring no debt for the city through the implementation of several innovative design and construction procedures to stay within the grant funds available.

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