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After Years of Persistent Flooding, Homewood Residents Ask PWSA To Step In

Megan Harris
90.5 WESA
Some Homewood residents say their basements began flooding after Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint Water Authority and Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority fixed a sinkhole near their homes four years ago.

After years of frustration, a group of Homewood residents who have experienced persistent flooding and sewage backups are publicly asking the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority to deal with the issue.

Tanya Todd, one of the impacted homeowners, said at least six homes in her neighborhood have been affected by the flooding. She said the problems first began in 2017, after the Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint Water Authority and Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority fixed a sinkhole in the area.

“There’s sewage water and it’s a constant workout,” Todd said.

According to Todd, residents have spent thousands of dollars of their own money on plumbers, water pumps, and cleaning supplies to try and stop the flooding.

“I’m on a limited income and have to buy extra cleaning supplies, you know, invest in that. And I mean a lot of cleaning supplies,” she said.

In a statement on Thursday, Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint Water Authority executive administrator Vanessa Davis said that the water authority “responded to and repaired a water main break that occurred while PWSA Contractors were repairing sewer lines in the area. All restoration beyond that was the responsibility of PWSA and or their Contractors.”

PWSA said in an email that their crews inspected the main sewer line in the area and “found nothing from the main contributing to the situation.” PWSA said the flooding could be related to pipes owned by the affected residents.

The residents plan to hold a press conference on Friday afternoon outside of PWSA’s offices on Penn Ave to publicly demand “accountability, transparency, and collaboration with the residents to correct this destructive issue,” per a press release.

Todd said she hopes one of the agencies will be able to help the residents.

“I’ve been dealing with this for going on four years and enough is enough.”

Julia Zenkevich reports on Allegheny County government for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at