Saw Mill Run Watershed Will Recieve Attention In The Coming Weeks

Oct 23, 2015

Saw Mill Run Watershed has been a source of flooding for decades, but that could change with the help of the Saw Mill Run Watershed Association.
Credit Kevin Dooley / Flickr

Saw Mill Run has flooded for decades.

Its watershed association welcomes the community to an outreach event and film screening at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont to spread awareness on common water-related issues and helm conversations a long-term solution.

“The interesting thing about Saw Mill Run Watershed is that it really a representative of all the issues we face in our region,” said Lisa Brown, watershed coordinator. “If we can make an integrated watershed management plan work in Saw Mill Run, we can duplicate that throughout our region.”

The association is working with Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority to create this integrated watershed management plan. They began with research, Brown said.

“Saw Mill Run has what’s called a TMDL, which is a total maximum daily load limit for pollutants,” Brown said. “Several of our main pollutants are sedimentation, which is caused by erosion from excessive storm water run-off. And also we have nitrogen and phosphorus.”

Ideally, the watershed association will become “stewards of the stream” with long-term strategies in place “to oversee the efforts to improve the stream and make sure that communities remain in compliance.”

That begins, Brown said, with helping residents realize that what they do on their own property affects the shared water source.

The watershed runs 22 miles from the West End to Bethel Park, passing through 12 municipalities and 14 city neighborhoods.