Water, one of the world’s most precious resources, defines the Pittsburgh region. Sitting at the confluence of three rivers, Pittsburgh’s access to water creates a vibrant setting for our region and contributes to its reputation as one of America’s most livable cities. On September 19, Executive Director of Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN), Arletta Scott Williams will discuss the Clean Water Plan at the inaugural meeting of the Society of Women Environmental Professionals – Three Rivers Chapter.
Currently, ALCOSAN is preparing for one of the largest construction projects in recent history to be undertaken in our region. This effort includes a legally binding Consent Decree that requires capital upgrades and major changes to the hidden infrastructure system. ALCOSAN’s proactive approach focuses on a Clean Water Plan that will address this problem with a multi-faceted approach that involves green infrastructure as well as the rehabilitation, replacement and expansion of over 200 miles of the sewerage system.
Beginning in the 1930s, City leaders took steps to confront the issue of wastewater treatment but it was not until the mid-1940s ALCOSAN was formed to address this health threat. By 1959, ALCOSAN had installed over 90 miles of interceptor pipes to redirect sewage from the local waterways to its treatment plant. So began what could be arguably the most important element contributing to the renaissance of the City of Pittsburgh.
Heightened awareness and stronger environmental regulations have led ALCOSAN and its 83 customer municipalities to collectively assess and repair their sewage collection system and ensure the water quality of our waterways. However, overflows of untreated wastewater containing sewage still take place in area waterways, especially during rain and heavy snow melt.
It is our water, so precious and abundant in the region that ALCOSAN strives to protect for the good of our communities. Attend our September 19 breakfast to learn more about the essential role that ALCOSAN plays to ensure our health and the prosperity of our waterways, the City of Pittsburgh, and the Three Rivers region. You can learn more about SWEP Three Rivers, join and register for the breakfast (no longer available) at SWEP3Rivers.org.
About the Author: Joy M. Ruff, AICP has over 23 years of experience in municipal planning and public involvement that spans public, private, and non-profit sectors. She is a founding member and Program and Events Chair of SWEP Three Rivers Chapter.