Stormwater Strategic Plan

Permeable pavers on Kentucky Avenue in Shadyside help slow stormwater runoff entering the sewer system.

In October 2020, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) and the City of Pittsburgh launched a global search  to develop an innovative approach to address stormwater management in Pittsburgh. 

With support from the Heinz Endowments, the Richard King Mellon Foundation, and the Hillman Foundation, we embarked upon the first phase of this long-term planning effort. In June 2021, Penn Praxis and The Water Center at Penn were selected by PWSA to lead the stormwater planning efforts, with support by a team of sub-consultants having national expertise and a deep knowledge of local water issues. 

Open for Public Review and Comment

We are pleased to release the final draft of the Stormwater Strategic Plan and encourage PWSA customers, community members and stakeholders to review and submit comments during the Public Comment Period - now open through February 17, 2023. Please submit comments using the online webform or download the pdf version of the form to submit via email or mail to:

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority
Attention: Beth Dutton, Senior Project Manager, Stormwater
1200 Penn Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

If you would like to have a copy of the Stormwater Strategic Plan mailed to you, please email Beth Dutton, Senior Project Manager, Stormwater to request a copy.

Using the links below, please use the printing or online viewing version that best meets your needs. If you choose to comment on the Strategic Plan, please use our online webform or the pdf form.

Home Printing Options

Online Viewing Options


Supplemental and Background Information

Plan Overview

The PWSA Stormwater Strategic Plan builds off past planning efforts by using climate data, previous regional studies, community input, and best practices by our peer utilities to provide recommendations that consider equity, the environment, priority sites, and water quality. 

Recommendations Include: 

  1. Develop and Implement a Communication Framework to Increase Transparency and Understanding of the PWSA Strategy and the Stormwater Fee Value Proposition 
  2. Institute a Joint Task Force to Develop City-Wide Action Plans for More Coordinated and Effective Management of Stormwater
  3. Analyze Priority Areas for Investment 
  4. Define Initial Investment Strategies 
  5. Establish Guiding Principles and Comprehensive Approach to Stormwater and Flooding “Level of Service” 
  6. Leverage Stormwater Fee Impact Through Public and Private Investment, Innovative Partnerships and Technologies, and Job Training Programs

The Stormwater Strategic Plan is aspirational and should be viewed as a strategic step towards stormwater management. PWSA intends to use the Plan recommendations to eventually design and implement specific projects that meet a determined level of service to manage stormwater quantity at a rate PWSA customers can afford. As such, this plan presents a strategy to be used in reaching our final goal of delivering cost-effective and environmentally compliant stormwater service. 

The plan is an exciting and timely effort for a cost-effective, inclusive, and sustainable way to address local stormwater problems and ensure that all Pittsburgh neighborhoods are represented. We encourage our ratepayers, stormwater advocates, and member of the Pittsburgh community to participate in the public comment period and learn more by attending upcoming community meetings in early 2023.

Community Engagement

PWSA has an ongoing commitment to public engagement and outreach and will provide a process for our community to provide input into our ongoing stormwater planning and implementation. In January 2023, PWSA will announce a series of community meetings to share the recommendations of the plan, gather community feedback, answer questions, and share next steps. Please keep an eye out for a press release announcing the meetings and keep an eye on our meetings and events page for details.