Map of Pittsburgh that shows our separate storm sewer system areas in light brown, where stormwater and sewage are routed into separate pipes. In these areas, stormwater discharges directly into local waterways, which is why it’s so important to reduce pollutants picked up by the rain.
When it rains in the separate storm sewer system areas of Pittsburgh (shown on the map), the stormwater is routed into storm drains and pipes, which then lead to our rivers and streams. Unfortunately, that stormwater also picks up litter, oil, road salt, or other pollutants on the ground. This pollution harms water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and recreation.
Federal and state law help protect and improve rivers and streams by regulating pollutant discharges. In early June, the City of Pittsburgh and PWSA received a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). This permit requires that we follow specific guidelines and implement practices to reduce pollutants from our storm sewer system.
To meet these water quality goals, the City and PWSA are strengthening our partnership and expanding our existing stormwater management program. We are constructing infrastructure projects that capture and filter polluted stormwater, such as the Volunteers Field Rain Garden Project, and reduce sediment at Saw Mill Run. Learn more at pgh2o.com/volunteersfield and
We are also teaching community members about local stormwater issues and how they can get involved in activities to reduce pollution, improve water quality in our rivers and streams, and help keep our communities clean. You can help prevent stormwater pollution by picking up litter, disposing of pet waste properly in trash cans, and never dumping vehicle fluids, grass clippings, or leaves into storm drains. Learn more at pgh2o.com/help-manage-stormwater.