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No simple solution to flooding problem in Baldwin Borough

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

It's too soon to estimate how much the upsizing of piping and adding of inlets would cost, in an attempt to reduce flooding in some Baldwin Borough neighborhoods, officials said.

“I don't have any good news for you other than (to) spend a lot of money if you want to fix it,” borough engineer Larry Souleret told council members last week.

Some Jenne Drive residents attended recent council meetings seeking help with flooding issues at their homes. The problem on Jenne is mirrored on several other nearby streets, Souleret said.

Engineers analyzed the storm system on Jenne in recent weeks after the large storms that led to flooding across the South Hills on July 9 and 10, he said.

“The problem that we have is that there's not (a large) enough storm-drain system to handle the water that's coming down the road,” Souleret said. “The system was built probably in the '60s. Back then, nobody took the time to size pipes.”

If these homes were built today, there would be more inlets in the street and larger pipes, likely 24 inches in diameter, Souleret said.

During strong storms, water coming down the road and out of backyards and downspouts is too much for the storm system — mostly with pipes 15 inches in diameter — to handle, the engineer said.

Residents also reported that sewage flooded into their homes earlier this summer. The pipes are not designed for the storms that occurred earlier this summer, Souleret said.

Fixing the problem would require starting at the bottom of the watershed, Souleret said.

And the repairs would need to be made on more than just one street, borough manager John Barrett said.

Borough leaders would need to figure out many other issues with this — such as how to finance the project — before they could proceed, Barrett said.

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

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