PITTSBURGH, PA – Today the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) Board of Directors authorized a resolution providing $200,000 to create a Residential Homeowner Assistance Program (RHAP) to aid Pittsburgh homeowners facing potentially steep costs to remove storm water connections from sanitary sewers.
This requirement was imposed on property owners by the 2004 Consent Order and Agreement (COA) between the PWSA, the City of Pittsburgh, the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD). The COA also required the City of Pittsburgh to enact an ordinance mandating residential properties in a sanitary sewer area perform and pass a dye test demonstrating compliance with the requirement to disconnect prior to the property being sold, which it did in 2006. The cost to a homeowner to meet the disconnection requirement ranges from $250 to as much as $30,000.
“There are about 4,000 homes in Pittsburgh that have failed the dye test. The Board action today will help qualified homeowners offset the expense of costly repairs to disconnect storm water sources, such as downspouts, from sanitary sewers," said PWSA Interim Executive Director Jim Good.
Under PWSA's RHAP program, grants and loans will help qualified homeowners pay for home repairs to make a property compliant. Eligible projects may include green solutions such as rain barrels. Dollar Energy Fund will serve as the grant and loan program administrator and first point of customer contact for Pittsburgh homeowners who wish to participate in this program.
“Dollar Energy Fund is proud to partner with PWSA on an innovative effort to help homeowners in the City of Pittsburgh. We look forward to providing this critical assistance to Pittsburgh homeowners," said Chad Quinn, CEO of Dollar Energy Fund.
The $200,000 approved by the PWSA Board of Directors will provide PWSA and Dollar Energy Fund with funding to develop and administer a grant and loan program to provide qualified homeowners with assistance to address a storm sewer connection on their property that has failed a required dye test. PWSA and Dollar Energy Fund will seek additional funding sources to further capitalize and support this program. Dollar Energy Fund and PWSA anticipate launching this program within about 30 days.
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) provides water and sewer services to more than 300,000 consumers throughout the City of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. Dollar Energy Fund is a qualified 501 C-3 non-profit and, since 1983, Dollar Energy Fund’s grants have helped more than 400,000 families maintain or restore safe utility services. To learn more about the requirements of the Dye Test and Consent Order Agreement that impacts Pittsburgh homeowners, please visit www.pgh2o.com/dye-testing.