Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority

Government & Politics
9:02 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

PA House Bills Would Allow Municipalities to Repair Private Sewer Lines

Around 40 percent of all the water treated by ALCOSAN is already clean, according to Jim Good, Interim Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.

Clean rainwater and groundwater often make their way into the sewer system through leaks in lateral sewer lines, which run from the main line to individual buildings and homes.

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Winter Weather
12:34 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

With High Temps Expected This Week, Melting Snow Could Bring Flooding

The National Weather Service is calling for temperatures to reach the low 50s this week, meaning the possibility of a lot of melted snow and ice — and floods.

Werner Loehlein, the chief of the water management for the Pittsburgh Army Corps of Engineers, said the Corps always worries about substantial snow and river ice when the temperature rises.

However, he said the latest forecast from the National Weather Service appears to show that Pittsburgh is safe from flooding.

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Community
1:26 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

PWSA Gearing Up for Weather-Induced Water Main Breaks

Crews at the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority are gearing up for a busy week as the deep freeze sets in and is followed by a quick thaw.

“Any extreme change in temperature causes the ground to shift, and when that occurs, the lines break,” said PWSA spokeswoman Melissa Rubin. “We have an old system, we have a lot of pipe that’s 80 years old, a hundred years old. Some of them are old cast iron pipes, and they break when the ground shifts.”

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Environment & Energy
4:57 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Council Members Urged to Pursue Green Solutions to Storm Water Overflow Problem

A broad coalition of environmental and community groups Monday urged Pittsburgh City Council to pursue green infrastructure solutions to the city’s storm water overflow problem.

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sewer overflows, flooding
2:06 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

$5 M State Loan to Ease Sewer Overflows in Hill District & South Side

PWSA is hoping a $5 million loan will help reduce the number of days per year raw sewage flows into the region's river from outlets like this on on the South Side.
Credit Jennifer Szweda Jordan / Allegheny Front

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) has received a $5 million loan from the state for sewer improvement projects in the Hill District and the South Side.  

The PWSA and all communities in Allegheny County are under a 2004 Consent Order to reduce sewer overflows on rainy days.

PWSA interim executive director Jim Good said cities that have been built in the last 100 years have a separate sanitary and storm water systems.  But older cities including New York, Boston and Pittsburgh have combined, single pipe systems.

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Government & Politics
3:24 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

PWSA, Veolia Extend Contract; Authority May Have New Director in Next 18 Months

PWSA has extended its partnership with Veolia Water through December 2014. PWSA provides water and wastewater services to more than 300,000 consumers throughout Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and Veolia Water have extended their partnership agreement through December 2014. PWSA started working with Veolia in the summer of 2012.

The initial contract was for at least 12 months, with an option to extend. One of the priorities for the upcoming contract term will likely be finding a permanent director.

“I think that’s the aim of the board, is at the end of the contract term that by then there would be a new, permanent executive director that’s a direct employ of the PWSA,” said interim Executive Director Jim Good.

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Sewer Overflows
4:50 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Sewer Overflow Plan Would Cost Pittsburgh Customers an Extra $100 a Year

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority on Wednesday submitted a $165 million plan to meet a 2002 federal mandate to reduce sewage overflows into Pittsburgh waterways.

“We’ve been working on the plan for a little over 10 years,” said Jim Good, PWSA’s interim executive director. “If you printed it out on paper the plan weighs 29 pounds.”

Good said the plan is “compliant gray,” but the authority went a step further. 

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Pittsburgh
3:29 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

PWSA, Veolia Water Partnership Finds $2 Million in Savings

PWSA Water Quality Manager Jay Kuchta gives a tour of the utility's water treatment plant.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Last summer, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority partnered with Veolia Water North America to find ways of improving services and operating more efficiently.

Nine months in, officials said the executive management services agreement between the two entities has been beneficial. Rob Nicholas, vice president for development with Veolia, said PWSA has been able to find ways to bring in more revenue without raising rates for customers.

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Water Main Breaks
10:47 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Anatomy of a Water Main Break

A water main break rages under the South Millvale Bridge in Bloomfield in January.
Credit Photo courtesy of PWSA

You know it's winter in Pittsburgh when your car is getting beat up by pot-holes, the streets are chalky with salt, and water main breaks proliferate. But what exactly is going on below the pavement?

Clogged pipes, flooded basements and sheets of ice on roadways are some of the visible signs of water main breaks. But many leaks and breaks go undetected - including sewer line breaks which filter through the soil and along side the pipes for months or years.

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