Rehabilitating an 1897 Water Main
Without Disruption


As part of the City’s multi-year rehabilitation plan, they had to update a water main that was built in 1897. Because of the pipe's age, there were no as-built drawings of the main, only a couple of stick drawings. These didn't have any information the project team could use. Additionally, pipes of this age often used lead solder to hold together joints. The main also passed underneath several businesses, a double row of railroad tracks, a regional trail and the Menomonie River. The team used a robotic CCTV camera to scope out the bends in the water main running beneath the river. This process helped the team determine which method they would use to rehabilitate it.


The project decided to use trenchless technology to rehabilitate the water pipe. The process used a Class IV fully structural cured-in-place pipe (PIPP) liner. This technology seals up pipe joints, preventing any potential lead solder from coming into contact with the water. Trenchless technology also allowed the project team to complete the project without disrupting the public. Businesses, restaurants, bike and walking paths reamined in use because the project didn't require digging up the street.


  • 300 feet of 12-inch water main pipe was rehabilitated
  • Class IV cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) liner will last another 70+ years
  • Assessment using live underwater cameras


  • Best of State | American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin (ACEC/WI)

Wauwatosa Water Main Rehabilitation

Wauwatosa, Wis.

City of Wauwatosa

Trenchless Technology
Water Main Rehabilitation