Unused West View land to become green solution for stormwater runoff
A partnership between West View and Alcosan will turn a piece of unused land on Center Avenue into a garden designed to keep 250,000 gallons of rainwater out of sewers.
Borough officials partnered with Alcosan and the county for the $550,000 project, which is designed to be a green solution to problematic storm-water runoff that communities across the region face.
Alcosan officials are exploring rain gardens as an environmentally friendly way to reduce the amount of raw sewage spilling into creeks and rivers during wet weather.
When wet weather hits, storm drains overflow, and storm water mixes with sewage before running into creeks and rivers.
“(Storm water) is a serious problem, and this is a viable solution,” Arletta Scott Williams, executive director of Alcosan, said at the garden's groundbreaking on April 10.
The project will feature two gardens with vegetation chosen to absorb rainwater, a vegetated bioswale, a retention pond and a porous brick pavement system in the 15,000-square-yard lot at the intersection of Center and Hawthorne avenues. Bioswales are landscape elements that remove silt and pollution from rainwater runoff.
Borough engineer Bob Zischkau said only two parking spaces from the adjacent borough-owned parking lot will be lost to the garden, and it will be able to retain water from 1 inch of rainfall.
“I think it's a good idea,” said Dan Kasper, a Center Avenue resident who lives near the lot. “When it rains, it floods like crazy here.”
The project cost will be 55-percent funded by a federal Environmental Protection Agency State and Tribal Assistance Grant, or STAG, secured by Alcosan with assistance from Allegheny County.
Alcosan is under a consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Allegheny County Health Department to achieve compliance with the federal Clean Water Act during periods of wet weather.
West View will fund 25 percent of the cost with the help of a $125,000 Community Infrastructure and Tourism Fund grant from the county, and the remaining 20 percent will be paid for by Alcosan.
“Green is not a cheap program,” Zischkau said.
The $825,000 STAG will fund West View's rain garden, as well as one in Panther Hollow in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood.
Zischkau said both gardens are “demonstration projects” that will help people in other communities explore whether the gardens are efficient and cost-effective solutions.
“People will be looking at this project to see if it's successful,” he said.
West View Mayor J. R. Henry said he expects construction to begin in the next few weeks.
Kelsey Shea is a staff writer at Trib Total Media. Reach her at email@example.com or at 724-772-6353.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Plan calls for discount grocery store in Richland
- St. Sebastian STEM class makes learning fun for students
- McIntyre students hope Buddy Bench is beneficial to all
- Youth Planting Change program aims to grow horizons for North Allegheny students
- Shaler Area hires new superintendent
- North Hills students collect food for families
- New track, turf planned for Shaler Area’s Titan Stadium
- North Hills Community Outreach’s Community Auto program giving away vehicle
- Retiring custodian described as ‘heart and soul’ of Richland Elementary
- McCandless center helps residents make beautiful music
- New Mexican restaurant to open in McCandless