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Agencies act to remediate Glassport mine seepage

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Eric Slagle | Daily News
Glassport residents Robert Stecak and Joann Decolati examine a retaining wall that has been installed in a driveway just off Euclid Avenue. The wall is part of a project addressing mine runoff that was damaging properties in the area. The work is being done by the federal Bureau of Mines and state Department of Environmental Protection.

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Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, 4:16 a.m.
 

Old mines are being blamed for seepage problems at some properties in Glassport.

The federal Bureau of Mines and state Department of Environmental Protection are working to address the problem, which is affecting homes in the vicinity of Fern Way and Euclid Avenue.

Neighbors reported foul-smelling water draining into yards and basements.

Construction crews have been working in the area and on the hillside above for about a month. They are using heavy equipment to lay approximately 1,600 feet of pipe to direct the mine drainage into the borough's sewer system.

John Decolati, who lives in the 100 block of Fern Way, said he began having problems with water backing up in his yard and basement during the summer that possibly were caused by heavy rains.

Decolati said he reported the problem to the Department of Mines after a borough worker told him to do so.

His daughter, Joann Decolati, said she urged her father to report the problem because she feared the hillside would blow out and demolish his house.

Glassport manager John DeSue said he's glad the two agencies are addressing the problem. He said the reported cost of the project is around $200,000, none of which will come from local sources.

“They're spending considerable money up there. There's no expense to the borough,” DeSue said. “I'm pretty happy they're doing it.”

DeSue said progress continues on another drainage problem in Glassport.

The borough had to use eminent domain to demolish a home at 532 Cypress Way last month after it was severely damaged when blockage of a sewer main caused earth around the home's foundation to be washed away during a series of heavy storms.

DeSue said repairs have been made to the sewer line.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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