Infiltration and inflow impacting Germantown Hills residents

Holly Richrath

Issues with infiltration and inflow at the village’s two wastewater treatment plants are having an impact on residents financially. That is what Germantown Hill’s Superintendent of Public Works Rich Brecklin told village board members Thursday.

“We need to get the word out,” Brecklin told board members. “Everything that doesn’t belong in the sewers, costs you money.”

Infiltration occurs when groundwater enters sewer systems through cracks or leaks in sewer pipes. These cracks or leaks may be caused by factors including deterioration due to age, loose joints, installation or maintenance errors or damage.

Inflow is stormwater that enters into sewer systems at points of direct connection to the systems, such as sump pumps and down spouts.

Inflow and infiltration reduce the ability of sewer systems and treatment facilities to transport and treat domestic and industrial wastewater.

“Both plants have been really low. Plant 2 is averaging about 43,000 gallons a day,” Brecklin said.

He added that Plant 2, which has newer equipment, averaged about 117,000 gallons per day in June and 200,000 gallons per day in March.  

“At Plant 1 we run about 150,000 gallons a day,” he said. “Back in June we were at 279,000. There wasn’t that much rain.

“That tells you what’s going on with infiltration and inflow. That costs people money.”

Because all water entering a water treatment facility must be treated as wastewater, additional water from inflow and infiltration causes an increase in operating costs.   

Reducing the amount of infiltration and inflow will reduce added costs in electricity, maintenance and reduce the wear and tear on equipment used at each facility.