While Allegheny County communities continue toclean, assess and repair their sewer collection systems under a consent orderfrom the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), they can look to a smallnon-profit organization based in Lawrenceville for some financialassistance.

Recently, 2005 appropriations legislation earmarked $2.5million for the 3 Rivers Wet Weather Demonstration Program (3RWWDP) under thefederal Clean Water Act to assist 82 communities and the City of Pittsburgh inthe Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) service area.

Createdin 1998, 3RWWDP’s mission is to help ALCOSAN communities address the issue ofuntreated sewage and storm water overflowing into the region’s waterways duringwet weather. To promote the most cost-effective, long-term, sustainablesolutions, the organization benchmarks sewer technology, provides financialgrants, educates the public and advocates inter-municipalpartnerships.

Under EPA grant conditions, the $2.5 million, appropriatedfrom the State and Tribal Assistance Grant category of the Clean Water Act, mustbe matched by 45 percent in local municipal funds, private grants or statedollars. That means for every federal grant dollar spent, 80 cents must beobtained from local or state funds. With the help of a Pennsylvania state grant,3RWWDP recently coordinated and funded a system-wide manhole mapping project tohelp municipalities meet their consent order requirements. Using globalpositioning system (GPS) satellite technology, mapping crews accurately recordedthe horizontal and vertical locations of more than 100,000 manholes throughout4,000 miles of sewer collection system.

The next project 3RWWDP willembark upon is a regional flow monitoring plan that will save communities up to$18 million.

See Discussion, Leave A Comment