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Upgrades completed at Becks Run Pumping Station

| Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 8:16 p.m.
Randy Jarosz | For the South Hills Record
Kathy Pape, President of PA American Water
Randy Jarosz | For the South Hills Record
Jay Lucas, senior project manager for PA American Water
Randy Jarosz | For the South Hills Record
Wayne Gardner, Commissioner
Randy Jarosz | For the South Hills Record
Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive
Randy Jarosz | For the South Hills Record
(from left) John Rigo of Kokosing, senior project manager for PA American Water Jay Lucas, Brett Burgett of kokossing and Bruce Nelson of Kokosing
Randy Jarosz | For the South Hills Record

A large tan building stands at the base of East Carson Street, next to the nearly 100-year-old structure that now mainly is crumbled bricks.

The new Becks Run Pumping Station, with backup generators and new river intake system, that abuts the busy thoroughfare is one of several upgrades made at Pennsylvania American Water Co. sites around the Pittsburgh region during the last several years.

Large clear-well water-storage tanks now line Becks Run Road on the Baldwin Borough/Carrick border. Underground, thousands of feet of new piping carry water to its destination.

A roughly $90 million project to upgrade and improve infrastructure at the Becks Run Pumping Station and Hays Mine Water Treatment Plant at the Baldwin Borough/Carrick border, started in June 2010, was completed last week.

The project — part of the water company's $101 million investment to upgrade three Pittsburgh-area facilities — was geared to replace wearing infrastructure, meet new federal and state mandates, and provide safety improvements.

“Together, these three upgrades represent one of the largest capital-improvement projects in Pennsylvania American Water Co.'s history,” company President Kathy Pape said.

More than a dozen local, county and state officials gathered at the Hays Mine Treatment Plant on Friday for a ceremony marking the completion of the project.

“When we broke ground in June of 2010, one of our highest priorities was to ensure that construction did not disrupt the service reliability or water quality of our customers,” Pape said. “An equally important goal of this entire team was to ease the disturbance in the daily lives of our neighbors and to not disrupt their water service.”

That goal was surpassed, Pape said.

The only noticeable disruptions for residents came in the form of changes to traffic patterns or lane closures and a bit of dust in the area, company spokesman Gary Lobaugh said.

Residents were asked to participate in two surveys during construction, one during the process and one near completion, and the residents said they were satisfied with the company's communication with them about the project, Lobaugh said. Neighborhood meetings also were held.

Nearly 30 South Hills residents who live near the treatment plant were invited to tour the facility last week.

The project, completed by prime contractor Kokosing Construction, included new water-storage and pump-station facilities at the Hays Mine Treatment Plant, as well new chemical-feed facilities.

The project also included the construction of a new Becks Run Pumping Station, new Monongahela River intake structure, a new raw-water pump station and the installation of about 3,000 feet of 42-inch water main to connect the new facilities to the Hays Mine Treatment Plant, Pape said.

Two 2.25 million- gallon clear-well tanks, also known as contact tanks, were added to allow water being treated to mix with chemicals for a longer time before being distributed to customers, water-company officials said. A retaining wall was added, and water-company officials are working to finalize shrubbery and other cosmetic parts of the project, Lobaugh said.

The project was completed without any safety “incidents,” Pape said.

Actually, during construction, the treatment plant received a commendable rating — the highest possible rating — on a filter plant performance evaluation, conducted by the county health department, Pape said.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or

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