If leaks are detected between homes and the curb, property owners must have the private lines replaced or repaired at a cost of up to $2,000 each, Thomas said.
Residents may hire their own plumbing contractor or have the city's contractor fix the lines, he said. The city also is exploring ways to help residents finance the repairs.
More residents will be affected by the actual construction.
Replacing an 18-inch main sewer line that runs parallel to Hamilton Run might require digging up several back yards along Valleybrook Drive, Brookside Terrace and Potomac Heights Avenue, said Richard Parks, project manager for Acer Engineers & Consultants Inc.
An option to digging up some of the yards might be to burst the sewer line and slip in a new one, Parks said. It still might be necessary to dig up some yards, however.
The city would repair any damage to the back yards, including landscaping, Thomas said. It could take up to a month for the repairs to be made, he said.
Replacement of a 12-inch sewer line will require some streets to be torn up, including parts of Belview Avenue, May Street and The Terrace, Parks said. Northern Avenue from Pennsylvania Avenue to the railroad tracks also would be torn up to reline a sewer pipe.
Neighbors would be notified before work begins because sewer service could be disrupted for up to eight hours, Parks said.
Those pipe replacements and repairs, which would cost $2 million, should be done by September 1998, when the city's consent order to pump raw sewage into Hamilton Run expires, Thomas said. The project would eliminate the need to pump sewage into the stream.
Construction on the $3.1 million final phase of the project would begin in the spring of 1999 and take several years to complete, Thomas said. That phase includes replacing sewer pipes north of Eastern Boulevard and from Pangborn Boulevard to Cannon Avenue.