University Of Pennsylvania’s “Green” Work of Art

The University of Pennsylvania has been both resourceful and innovative in the creation of sustainable “green” projects. Within the last decade, collaborators formed an outstretched area of land intended for use by the Penn community, named Shoemaker Green. This 2.75-acre park on the campus, resembles a large bathtub in design and is multi-faceted in order to capture and recycle the storm water and HVAC runoff from the surrounding buildings. The system includes a 20,000-gallon underground cistern, porous hardscape surfaces, and

Continue reading

Pittsburgh Conducts Testing for Lead in Pipelines

Pittsburgh has recently launched a new program for residents that includes lead testing. If you’re a customer of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, you are eligible for free water testing. If requested, you will receive a sample bottle with simple instructions. An examination of 103 homes revealed non-detectible levels of lead and some had very low levels, but others were more concerning.  Tests show that while water leaving the treatment plant is lead-free; it can pick up lead from

Continue reading

Penn State’s Best Practices for Water Wells

Pennsylvania is one of two states without statewide standards for the construction of private water wells. Preventing contaminated water supplies protects the health of you and your family, and it is also less expensive and easier than fixing a water quality problem after it has already occurred. Learning about proper well maintenance is your best line of defense against a polluted water source. Every year, homeowners should do a thorough inspection of their home water well. Keep the area around

Continue reading

Pittsburgh’s Siting Tool for Stormwater Improvements

The nonprofit organization 3 Rivers Wet Weather helped Allegheny County Sanitary Authority conduct a study on the feasibility of using green infrastructure as a cost-effective, long-term sustainable solution for Pittsburgh’s wet weather problems. Water resources engineers from the organization turned to an EPA tool for help identifying specific “best management practices” (BMPs) for the area: EPA’s BMP Siting Tool. “Gray infrastructure” (or man-made traditional infrastructures), the distribution systems and pipes throughout the city, is expensive to replace or upgrade. In

Continue reading

Pittsburgh Sewer Authority’s Charitable Green Deeds

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is committed to a “green first” approach to improving water quality affected by storm water runoff. Green infrastructure (GI) can be a cost-effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly way to manage the volume, rate and water quality of storm water runoff while providing many additional benefits to communities. That said, as time goes by and populations grow, we see more and more Green initiatives cropping up. Such is the case with The Pittsburgh Sewer

Continue reading

Alcosan’s Water Advisory System

The Alleghany County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) was created in 1946 under the Pennsylvania Municipal Authorities Act and began treating wastewater in 1959. Secondary (biological) treatment processes were added in 1972. The Authority is governed by a seven-member Board of Directors – three appointed by the Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, three appointed by the Allegheny County Chief Executive and one joint appointment.  ALCOSAN’s 59-acre treatment plant is one of the largest wastewater treatment facilities in the Ohio River Valley,

Continue reading