Municipalities starting to charge MHPS for infiltration

This is the second park I have had under contract where the only thing wrong with it is that the city is billing back for infiltration. They have installed a flow meter and are bleeding the park to death and practically holding it hostage until the lines are fixed or replaced. The lines are in perfect shape for old clay tile, the only problem is leaking at the joints due to the sealant wearing off. I have spoke at length with sewer professionals and engineers. The general feedback is if you have a sewer system built with clay tile then you are going to have some infiltration. Most of it coming from the joints of the mains and laterals.

I have looked into solutions ranging from full replacement, relining, pipe bursting and grouting. Replacing can cost upward of 600k for redoing the main and laterals and pipe bursting is looking upward of 250k for a 100 space park if you are including the laterals. The only cheaper solution is grouting which has a shorter life span and only part of the laterals can be grouted making it not a complete solution.

These costs are more than enough to bk a small time operator.
Im curious if any one has had any experience with this sort of situation.
Who’s to say that eventually they wont demand this of all parks that have clay tiles sewer systems which is the majority of them I would imagine.

Also, how is it that they can go after this park but not every other park, apartment building, and or even single family residence that was built before the 70s and has a clay tile system. This almost seems illegal and unfair that they just go for the park owners since its one entity with a 100 homes verse going after a residential neighborhood and having to deal with a 100 plus individual property owners.

I have called a few municipal lawyers and no one seems to be familiar with this situation and if there is anything I can do about it. Before I pay a lot of money to have an attorney start researching this sort of stuff I thought I would post here to see if anyone has any suggestions.

Thanks everyone!

Typically in the city code there is an acceptable amount of infiltration from joints and that should be minimal.

What is the master water meter usage versus the flow meter? If you can show this is normal for an MHP then the city (e.g. look at the acceptable deviation for a single family home times the number of pads in your Park) should give you a pass.

If the city won’t be reasonable with a clear story based on facts then yea seems like it’s time to have a municipal attorney look at it…

Might be good to see what other Park owners are doing. They may just pass it along to tenants.

What is infiltration and how is it measured?


That is a route we could take but I don’t know if it has much hold. I would imagine they would just say infiltration is rain and ground water finding its way into the lines and its measured by calculating the difference of water going in though mater meter, to sewer leaving through flow meter.


Good point. I am currently looking into whats considered an acceptable amount of infiltration and there is quite a bit of information that may be helpful in presenting our case. Thanks!

Intrusion and infiltration (I and I or just I n I). Is when you sewer collections pipes have cracks or other defects allowing ground water into your collections piping. Sewer flow in collection piping is usually powered by gravity so and not under pressure therefore it takes little to no energy (head pressure) for ground water to enter the collections piping. I and I rates are all over the map 20 to 30 % is not uncommon.

I would ask the city what their I and I is on city owned facilities. They will probably tell you they have not metered it. The reality is they have to treat whatever quanity of waste water you send them. They just now started to measure it. Dont see how you have much of a case if you get a lawyer.

I and I is a great way to determine the condition of your collection pipes.

What is your I and I %?



Due diligence tip:
If you have have a treament plant (package or otherwise) compare dry weather flow vs wet weather.

Also do the math on drinking water purchased or pumped (if you have wells) vs waste water treated.

No flow meters is worse than a car with no speedometer.


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You might want to check tenant connections, it’s not uncommon for owners of houses or MHs to connect gutters or yard drains to the sanitary system. I&I can be a real issue, the electrical consumption in kWHrs at the treatment plant can be 3 to 4 times the kWHrs used at the drinking water plant. Thus, most plants want to reduce infiltration wherever possible. Has your city mentioned exfiltration, or leakage? Leaking raw sewage into the water table is a serious matter, more serious, in my opinion, than infiltration. BTW, there is frequently a seasonal element to I&E, water leaks in during the rainy season and out during the dry season.
Jim Allen