Pittsburgh, PA – In 2022, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) completed six stormwater infrastructure projects to help protect Pittsburgh residents, its neighborhoods, and our rivers and streams from the impacts of too much rain.
The six stormwater projects were constructed in five Pittsburgh neighborhoods where excess stormwater runoff often impacts public health, safety, and the environment. These projects, constructed in Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, South Oakland, Carrick, and Point Breeze North, help to address some of the most prevalent stormwater challenges including neighborhood flooding, basement sewage backups, and diminshed water quality in Saw Mill Run.
“PWSA made significant progress toward addressing stormwater challenges across our city this year“ stated Will Pickering, Chief Executive Officer of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. “We now have 18 stormwater projects in the ground protecting public health and the environment, with more on the way.”
The new stormwater systems feature innovative green solutions constructed above and beneath the ground to effectively manage stormwate runoff. Above the surface, plants, soil, stones, and permeable pavers help to slow, capture, and filter rainwater while beneath the surface, underground storage systems, constructed of gravel, pipes, or modular tanks, hold back rainwater from overwhelmed sewers then slowly release it after a storm passes.
“A great deal of planning and engineering goes into each of our stormwater projects to ensure that each layer of the system – those at street level and the underground storage – work together to capture, retain, and safely convey excess water through our network of sewer pipes.” said Tony Igwe, Senior Group Manager of Stormwater for PWSA.”
Continue reading to learn more about the construction of these projects and the benefits they are bringing to Pittsburgh neighboroods - some of which include neighborood beautification, improved pedestrian safety, and drainage improvements on a local, youth ballfield.
At the Maryland Avenue Stormwater Project in Shadyside, permeable paver parking lanes and new storm inlets capture rainwater to be held in layers of gravel and storage pipe underground. Just up the hill, PWSA and Chatham University partnered to create the Woodland Road Stormwater Project on Chatham’s Shadyside Campus. There, stormwater runoff is slowed down and soaked up as it flows through landscaping, a rocky stream bed, and modular underground tanks.
After completing the first phase of the Wightman Park Stormwater Project in Squirrel Hill in 2020 through collaboration with the City of Pittsburgh and other partners, PWSA constructed the second phase in 2021 and 2022. Stormwater “bumpout” planters along nearby streets now carry rainwater to storage infrastructure in the newly renovated park.
PWSA also partnered with the City of Pittsburgh on the Volunteers Field Drainage and Regrading Project in Carrick. The project included field regrading, an underground field drainage system, and a new rain garden to decrease field flooding, improve playability, and reduce pollution into the Saw Mill Run stream.
At another park project in South Oakland, PWSA renovated the Lawn and Ophelia Parklet with a rain garden, underground stormwater storage, landscaping, and street drainage improvements to capture and store more rainwater in this hillside park.
For the Thomas and McPherson Project in Point Breeze North, what started as a stormwater project, soon expanded to address other critical water infrastructure on several streets. Here, PWSA replaced water mains, lead service lines, and rehabilitated existing sewer infrastructure. The stormwater improvements includes an underground stormwater storage system constructed beneath permeable pavers, grass, and asphalt on several streets.
Learn more about our projects at www.pgh2o.com/search-all-projects.