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Program Goals

Do you get water in your basement? Do you find yourself cleaning your lateral out every year? We can help!

Watch this video to learn more about the sources of clear water and the risk they cause to your home’s sewer pipes!

Water in your basement can be caused by rain or groundwater, also known as clear water, overwhelming your sanitary lateral pipe causing sewage and water to back-up in your basement. Sources of clear water include connected downspouts and foundation drains, and defects in your sanitary lateral such as roots. All of these sources increase the likelihood of basement back-ups.

The Pipe Check program provides financial incentives to help homeowners eliminate these sources of clear water from your home at a reduced cost!

Are you a contractor looking for information on the Pipe Check program? If so, please visit our contractor page.

Click the drop-down arrows under the following program categories to learn more.  

Participants must meet the following requirements to participate in the Pipe Check program:

  • Property is located within the MMSD service area
  • Property is a one or two-family home
  • No income requirement to participate
  • A Clear Water Evaluation is completed by an Approved Contractor
  • W‐9 is submitted to MMSD. (Note: The value of the financial incentive is taxable. MMSD will provide 1099 at the end of the year.)
  • Participation waiver must be signed by the homeowner
  • An Approved Contractor completes all the required work identified in the Clear Water Evaluation
  1. Homeowner contacts an Approved Contractor.
  2. Approved Contractor completes a site visit paid by the homeowner and the Approved Contractor completes Clear Water Evaluation.
  3. The contractor reviews the Clear Water Evaluation with the homeowner and identifies the work required to be completed to receive the financial incentives.
  4. If the homeowner agrees to the identified work and their portion of the total costs, the homeowner can choose to sign a contract with the Approved Contractor to have the work completed. The homeowner will be required to fill out a W-9 to participate in the pipe check program as the financial incentive is taxable.
  5. The full scope of work is completed to the satisfaction of the homeowner and the requirements of the Pipe Check program.
  6. The Pipe Check program pays the Pipe Check Incentives directly to the Approved Contractor.
  7. The Pipe Check Approved Contractor bills the homeowner the remaining portion of the work, per the requirements of the contract.
  8. The homeowner pays the Approved Contractor the remaining amount due.
  9. MMSD will send participating homeowners a 1099 at the end of the calendar year.

Questions? Please email our team at PipeCheckInfo@mmsd.com or call us at (414) 225-2250

Completed by an Approved Contractor, a Clear Water Evaluation identifies sources of rain or groundwater entering the sanitary sewer system from private property. The maximum financial incentive available to the homeowner is based on the findings of the Clear Water Evaluation.

During the Clear Water Evaluation, the contractor identifies the discharge locations of existing foundation drains, sump pumps, and rain gutter downspouts. If any of these items discharge into the sanitary sewer, they will need to be disconnected and rerouted to a building code-approved location in order to qualify for the financial incentives.

Step 4 – Approved Contractor List

An Approved Contractor is selected by MMSD through an assessment of their technical skills, experience, and customer service which qualify them to participate in the program. An Approved Contractor must be used by the homeowner to receive the financial incentives. When calling, please let the Approved Contractor know that you would like to participate in the Pipe Check program.

All Approved Contractors are able to perform the following work types: Foundation Drain Disconnection, Downspout Disconnection, Reroute Sump Pump Discharge, Remove Palmer Valve, & New Storm Lateral. The Approved Work Types listed in the table below represent the lateral repair methods that each contractor is approved to use under the Pipe Check program. Please refer to your contractor for guidance on what lateral repair method is best suited for your property.

Contractor Approved Lateral Repair Methods

Mr. Rooter


2524 76th St Franksville, WI 53126

Pipe Bursting (Full Replacement)
Open Cut Excavation (Full Replacement)
Slip Lining (Full Replacement)
Lateral Lining

Mid City Corporation



12930 W. Custer Ave Butler, WI 53007

Pipe Bursting (Full Replacement)
Open Cut Excavation (Full Replacement)
Slip Lining (Full Replacement)

Rozga Plumbing & Heating Corp



1529 S 113TH ST West Allis, WI 53214

Open Cut Excavation (Full Replacement)
Slip Lining (Full Replacement)
Lateral Lining

Heiden Plumbing Company


1100 W Bruce St Milwaukee, WI 53204

Pipe Bursting (Full Replacement)
Open Cut Excavation (Full Replacement)
Slip Lining (Full Replacement)
Lateral Lining

Budiac Plumbing & Heating, Inc



W68 N940 Washington Ave Cedarburg, WI 53012

Open Cut Excavation (Full Replacement)
Slip Lining (Full Replacement)

Milwaukee Plumbing & Piping, Inc.


11800 West Greenfield Ave West Allis, WI 53214

Open Cut Excavation (Full Replacement)
Slip Lining (Full Replacement)

MJ Construction Inc.



6000 N 91st St Milwaukee, WI 53225

Pipe Bursting (Full Replacement)
Open Cut Excavation (Full Replacement)
Slip Lining (Full Replacement)

Gene Wagner Plumbing Co., Inc.


2017 S. 60th St Milwaukee, WI 53219

Pipe Bursting (Full Replacement)
Open Cut Excavation (Full Replacement)
Slip Lining (Full Replacement)

Frequently Asked Questions

There are several local programs for low-income homeowners that offer partially forgivable and/or zero interest loans to address essentia lhome repairs and code violations. MMSD is not affiliated with these loan programs and does not guarantee loan approval. Please visit the website associated with each loan assistance program to see if you are eligible to participate and learn how to apply. Participation in these programs does not exclude you from receiving financial incentives through the Pipe Check program.


Milwaukee County Home Repair Program: Pipe check cannot currently be paired with this home repair loan program. The Housing Division offers no interest loans to income qualified homeowners in the suburban communities of Milwaukee County, excluding the Cities of Milwaukee and West Allis. The loans can cover a wide range of repairs required to maintain a home and can also be used for emergency repairs relating to health and safety and municipal citations. Learn more.

City of Milwaukee - Strong Homes Loan Program: The STRONG Homes Loan Program offers loans of up to $20,000 to owner-occupants of 1-4 family properties throughout the City of Milwaukee on a first-come, first-served basis. Technical assistance will be provided to homeowners under the program to assist with rehabilitation projects. Learn more.

City of Milwaukee - Compliance Loan Program: The Compliance Loan Program (CLP) assists homeowners throughout the City of Milwaukee in making repairs necessary to fix code violations on their property. CLP does this by providing 0% interest, deferred payment loans. This means homeowners pay no interest and only pay back the loan when selling or transferring the property. Learn more.

City of West Allis - Housing Rehabilitation Assistance Programs: Pipe check cannot currently be paired with this home repair loan program. Owner-occupied single-family dwellings and duplexes located in West Allis, that meet income limits, are eligible for reduced rate loans of up to $40,000 to assist with housing rehabilitation. Learn more.

Some Pipe Check Approved Contractors offer financing options.
Homeowners may ask contractors if they have financing options available when contacting them about a potential Pipe Check project!

MMSD is a public agency and must report benefits to individual property owners in excess of $600. Therefore, MMSD is required to collect W-9s from all homeowners who participate in the Pipe Check program. MMSD will send the property owner a 1099 at the end of the year. It is the property owner's responsibility to review any implications of participation in the Pipe Check program with a professional tax consultant.

The Pipe Check program does not provide funding to remove and replace lead water service lines. However, we highly recommend that homeowners who would like to replace their lead water service line considering replacing their sanitary sewer lateral at the same time. By replacing both the sanitary sewer lateral and the lead water service line at the same time, it provides significant cost savings to the homeowner and avoids excavating the property at two separate times. Please be sure to talk with your Pipe Check Approved Contractor if you are interested in replacing your lead water service line prior to the work starting.

Many of the municipalities in the MMSD Service Area have Lead Water Service Line replacement programs, educational resources, and occasionally financial assistance available, to help homeowners reduce their exposure to lead. Please reach out to your municipality to see what resources are available to you!

Pipe Check Financial Incentives

The financial incentives are a flat rate credit to help homeowners complete critical sanitary sewer system repairs on private property at a reduced cost. They do not cover the full cost of the work.  All costs above the value of the provided financial incentive will be the responsibility of the homeowner.The total cost of the work is dependent on the existing conditions within the home, the length of your lateral, and the chosen repair method implemented. Your chosen Approved Contractor will provide you with an estimate for the cost of the work required to be completed under the program prior to signing a contract with the Approved Contractor.

The Pipe Check Approved Contractor will complete all documentation required by the program and all financial incentives shall be paid directly to your chosen contractor by MMSD. The financial incentives will be deducted from your total due to the contractor at the completion of the work.

Approved Project Type
MMSD Financial Incentive
Foundation Drain Disconnection - Install sump pump & discharge piping, disconnect foundation drain from sanitary sewer lateral, and remove existing palmer valve.
Remove Palmer Valve, Only - Identify the location of palmer valve, remove existing palmer valve, cap foundation drain, and restore the site.
Reroute Existing Sump Pump Discharge - Disconnect existing sump pump discharge piping and reroute to a building code approved location.
New Storm Lateral, Connected to Existing Storm Sewer - A new storm lateral is installed from the house to an existing storm sewer.
Disconnect Downspout - Disconnect existing gutter downspouts from the sanitary sewer and reroute to discharge in the yard or storm lateral (max of 4).
$25 per downspout
Full Lateral Replacement - A full lateral replacement from the house to the sanitary main is completed via open cut or pipe bursting
$5,000 - $7,000
Lateral Lining - A cured in place pipe (CIPP) is installed in the lateral from under the home to the connection at the sanitary sewer mainline.

MMSD reserves the right to update the Financial Incentive rates at any time. Last updated: 01/01/2023

Questions? Please email our team at PipeCheckInfo@mmsd.com or call us at (414) 225-2250