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Environment & Energy

Green Stormwater Project In Homewood Could Begin Soon

pittsburgh_sewer_overflow.jpg
Alcosan

The Nine Mile Run Watershed Association is poised to begin construction on a green infrastructure project to reduce combined sewer overflow at Oakwood and Batavia streets in Homewood. 

City Council will vote Wednesday on a bill that would let construction begin.

The watershed association wants to build 10 rain gardens, 40 "tree pits" and other green infrastructure that would soak up sewage overflow and prevent it from entering an underground tributary of Nine Mile Run.  

Executive Director Brenda Smith said the funding came from the state, the Colcom Foundation and others, but city approval is needed before the work can begin.

Smith said the EPA has already started observing combined sewer overflow rates in that area of Homewood in hopes of conducting a before-and-after study of the project’s effectiveness.

“Then they’ll be monitoring afterwards to see how much the flow is reduced of the water going in there, because it’s really going to be important to see how these facilities perform if we’re going to want the opportunity to build more of them,” Smith said.

She said she hopes to use the project as a model for other sewer overflow mitigation efforts around the region.