Responsibility uncertain for flow of water from Beechview spring
By Tony LaRussa
Published: Saturday, April 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Water from a natural spring that was unearthed in Beechview last fall when the city ordered the demolition of a home is leaving its muddy mark.
But city officials don't see a quick resolution to what has turned into a complicated problem.
The flow onto the 1300 block of Belasco Avenue began after the city hired a contractor late last year to raze the condemned house, said Rob Kaczorowski, Pittsburgh's public works director.
The underground spring fed into a pipe that was connected to the city sewer system. During demolition, the pipe was disconnected, he said.
The flow of water caused icy conditions during the winter and a stream of mud down the street since the spring thaw, said Adam Shuck, who handles constituent services for District 4 Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak.
“It's a real mess out there, for sure,” he said. “But the problem hasn't been fixed because nobody seems to know who's responsible for doing it.”
Kaczorowski said the city initially believed the source of the flow was from a city water line, but testing determined it was spring water.
“My feeling is that the contractor should go back and reconnect the pipe,” he said. “But if we're told that public works needs to do it, then that's what we'll do.”
But John Jennings of the Bureau of Building Inspection, which hired the contractor, said it is illegal to reconnect sources of water into a combined sanitary and storm sewer system.
“We also can't cap it off because the water would just find its way somewhere else and cause a bigger problem,” he said. “So we're at the point where we need to meet with the city law department to determine what we legally can do to correct this.”
Rudiak said she spoke with a neighbor along the street who suggested piping the water into a small creek bed that runs near his home.
“I think that's the most logical solution I've heard,” she said. “I don't know if that's the answer, but if it can work, I'd like to help facilitate it.”
Jennings and Kaczorowski agree that redirecting the water in such a way might be a solution.
But there is a catch, Jennings said.
“The pipe where the spring water comes out is on private property, and the pipe that would go to the creek will have to cross another private property,” he said. “So we'd still have to get legal permission from both property owners before we can proceed.”
Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Web of surveillance videos helps ensnare suspect in East Liberty slayings
- Donor name to be stripped from Penn Hills library
- Newsmaker: Joseph Bonadio
- Suspect in East Liberty slayings may be part of murder-for-hire case
- On Pittsburgh visit, ambassador says $15B in aid to Ukraine shows support
- Qualifications of Peduto nominee for building inspection chief come up short
- Consumers pay high-tech price in privacy for perks
- Tea Party splits GOP, kindling party’s civil war
- Winter storm cancels flights to, from Pittsburgh airport
- PennDOT cash eases road repair pain in Lawrence County
- State official: Peoples-Equitable merger saves money for consumers