Sewer Lining Program

Annual Sewer Lining Program

On a routine basis, the Village inspects its sanitary sewer lines with televising equipment to identify areas in need of repair due to pipe failures, joint degradation, cracks in pipes, obstructions, and other age related failures. To repair the deficiencies in sanitary sewer lines, one of three methods can be used: repair at the point of failure, replacement of the failed segment, and lining of the section of sanitary sewer. Point repair and line replacement require excavation which could require the need to excavate in roads and disturb public and private property depending on the area of the repair. Sewer lining requires no excavation, creates limited or no interruptions to the sanitary sewer system, and rehabilitates the existing infrastructure, providing a significant increase in the useful life of the system.

The Village of Northbrook first began lining sanitary sewers over 30 years ago. Since that time, approximately 14% (or 17 miles) of the Village’s 124 miles of sanitary sewer infrastructure has been lined. At current rates, it would cost the Village over $19,000,000 to compete lining all remaining sanitary sewers.

The Village is required to line its sanitary sewers by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District to limit the amount of storm and other water that infiltrates the sanitary sewer system. Limiting the amount of water that infiltrates sanitary sewers can help reduce the volume of water in the sewer system during large rain storms thereby helping to prevent back-ups of sewage into private property. Priority is given to those lines showing signs of significant deterioration and/or those which would be difficult to access to repair via standard excavation techniques. The identified locations are then included in the annual lining program.


Installation of the pipe lining is relatively unobtrusive. The process requires the contractor to insert a plastic liner into the sanitary sewer main that homes and/or businesses may directly discharge into. Sections of sewers are prioritized for lining based on their condition. Prior to the sanitary lining work, the contractor will distribute notices to properties affected by lining work, requesting them to refrain from any heavy or discretionary waste water producing activities (clothes and dish washing) for approximately 12 hours. Each section of lined sewer pipe (manhole to manhole) typically requires 24 hours or less to complete.

During the lining process the contractor will access manholes located near homes and businesses. The contractor may need to access manholes located in the street in front of properties or in the rear yard of properties. The contractor will not need to enter a private home or business. Public Works personnel will be monitoring the progress of the work throughout this project.

It is possible that during the installation of the liner, residents may detect a “plastic” odor in the area. The odor should dissipate within a few hours. If residents notice an unusual smell in their home, or if the odor remains detectable outside for a prolonged period, please call the Public Works Department at 847-272-4711.