Sewer System

The Lake Pewaukee Sanitary District was formed in 1944. The initial plan was to start inspecting septic systems for compliance and remove the garbage and pollution entering into the lake. See the HISTORY section for more details on how it all started.

To date, the Lake Pewaukee Sanitary District owns and maintains approximately 48 miles of sanitary sewer and 14 lift stations. Each residence has their own sewer lateral that should be maintained (cleaned free of debris). A list of sewer cleaners can be found in this yellow pages link. Garbage collection is done through the City and Town contracts with garbage collection agencies. The sanitary sewer conveyance system includes areas in the Town of Delafield and the City of Pewaukee. All the effluent flows to the Village of Pewaukee pump station number 1 and then is transported to the Fox River Pollution Control Center in the City of Brookfield.

The Lake Pewaukee Sanitary Districts collection system is generally shown on the map below although additional systems (new subdivisions) are being added so the map will continue to be updated.

Collection System
Collection System

The lift stations are critical for operation of this system and probably are the least understood by our users. The “users” are the people in the District that are paying the LPSD user fee. These lift stations are lifting the sewage up so it can drain by gravity a few miles before having to be lifted up again. One of the critical factors that cost the users money are the cleaning rags that are being flushed down the toilet. Cleaning rags and other debris clog these pumps and check valves. Once clogged, we receive alarms at the stations such as “pump failure.” Typically it is in the middle of the night. This requires TWO maintenance staff to get out of a warm bed, typically during a storm, drive to the office garage, get tools, go to the problem site and remove a pump.

The pump is pulled and then rags cleaned out.The pump is then reinstalled, tested for operation and leaks, the tools are packed back up, drive back to the shop, close the gates and lock up, drive home and try to get back to sleep. This costs the District money, which means it cost the users money. Help us stop these unnecessary trips which will help us keep the user fees down.

Below are a few photos of a clogged pump and a photo of a clogged check valve. The photos are disgusting, and so is the reality of that part of our daily work. Rags clogging the pump at Station 13:

Rags clogging the pump at Station 13

The clogged check valve above can only be corrected by arriving on site, unbolting the valve cover and removing the rags and debris by hand. Rubber gloves, ear protection and eye protection are utilized for personal protection, however the job is not a pleasant one.

Pump Clog at Station 6

Pumps are removed by lifting them with a block and tackle, removing several large bolts, and then pulling the rags and debris out by hand. This takes time and effort that can be avoided if the rags were thrown in the garbage where they belong. However, without people understanding what the exact issue or problem they cause and the money that they spend on this “extra” maintenance we cannot correct the problem. Help us pass the word and share these wonderful photos so we can all save time and money.

Lastly, here is a photo of the rags removed in one day at our main station #11 during a spring high water in 2013.

Pickup-full of rags

If it weren’t for the alarms and quick response of our crews, we could have experienced a potential bi-pass of sewage right down the road. This could have been an emergency situation and the bi-passing would lead toward the lake. The first thought someone may have is “look what they almost did?!!”….What should be going through all our users’ heads is “look what we almost did?” I share this because it is not well understood. It is the all of us and what we flush down the toilets that affect the system and the pumps. Pass the word and lets think before we flush.

The Lake Pewaukee Sanitary District is committed to Preserving, Protecting, Maintaining and Enhancing the Lake, Rivers, Streams, Prairies and Wetlands within the Pewaukee Lake Watershed. Keeping the sewer system free of debris is the same as keeping our lakes, rivers and streams free of debris. It’s all connected. Help us in our mission.