The City of Highland is very responsive to residents concerns of
basement flooding and sewer backups during heavy rain events. The major
issue is storm water infiltration of the wastewater sewers exceeding
the wastewater sewer’s carrying capacity. Damaged or aging wastewater
laterals are a major source of this infiltration.
In previous years, the city conducted a program that evaluated the
conditions of laterals in targeted neighborhoods and required the
property owners to repair or replace damaged laterals. Many property
owners complained that it was an expensive repair and requested city
assistance with paying the cost of these repairs.
The city decided to investigate the cost of assisting with these
repairs by assuming ownership of the laterals within the right-of-way.
In this way, the city could possibly reduce the repair costs to property
owners, by paying to repair the portion of the lateral within the
right-of-way. Before proceeding, the city had to know the expense of
maintaining the laterals and thus the feasibility of assuming ownership
of these laterals. The approximation of expense required an estimation
of the linear feet of laterals within the right-of-way.
Because the city does not maintain utility service layers, the
estimation of laterals in the right-of-way is a difficult task. The
city decided to use the analytical power of GIS tools to create the
estimation figures. The process of creating the estimation involved
performing a distance analysis from the primary structure to the nearest
right-of-way boundary and the nearest sewer. By subtracting distance
to the right-of-from the distance to the sewer, the city established an
approximate linear feet in the right-of-way. The process involved
manual cleanup of anomalies, such as private roads and structures on
corners or near the back of lots.
After the completing the cleanup of the distance values, the linear
feet in the right-of-way was combined into a final total. This provided
the city with reasonable approximation the linear feet within the
right-of–way. Using the cost of maintaining a linear foot of lateral
with the approximate linear feet of lateral in the right-of-way provides
the city a means of creating a final cost evaluation.