The firm of Lennon, Smith, Souleret Engineering, Inc., is still recommending a water basin project for Baldwin Borough, but the size—and the cost—of the basin should be much smaller than what was originally thought.
The firm, whose services are employed by the borough, gave its initial recommendation during a of the Baldwin Council on Jan. 17, with a potential price tag of $13 million. But at a borough meeting on June 19, news surfaced that that cost might be a little high.
"Meetings with the Department of Environmental Protection recently have indicated that the borough will have to design repairs to the sanitary system to a two-year storm (event) rather than a 10-year storm as was originally proposed," borough Manager John Barrett said in an interview after the meeting.
"This is potentially favorable news to the borough. Although, we will still have to install holding tanks to withhold storm water from rain events, which will be expensive—$7 million is projected.
"The engineers would like to present the details of what this will mean to the borough."
And they will do so on July 10, as the Baldwin Council will welcome members of the public to another special Lick Run meeting that night at 6:30. The meeting will immediately precede a regularly scheduled council agenda meeting that is also open to the public and is set for a 7:30 start. Both meetings will be held in the .
"Designing to a 10-year storm means we have to build the system to handle storm water from a rain event that has the probability of occurring once every 10 years," Barrett said. "So, a 10-year storm event would have much more rain water than a two-year storm event."
The project is, nonetheless, needed to satisfy a consent decree from the Department of Environmental Protection, whose officials have deemed that sewage water from , Pleasant Hills Borough, South Park Township and south Baldwin—which contribute to the Lick Run waterway—has led to overflow in a Pleasant Hills Authority water treatment plant.
Whitehall, Pleasant Hills and South Park must also obey the consent decree.
Baldwin's part of that compliance would include a large water basin near and the installation of a long stretch of pipeline that would run from roughly Hollowhaven Drive to the railway that crosses Horning Road.
The basin would temporarily hold sewage water during periods of wet weather. Those periods cause an increase in sewage water flow for municipalities around Pittsburgh's South Hills area due to a number of reasons—leaky sewage pipes being infiltrated by rain, homes set up to dispense of storm water and sewage water in the same way, and others. Watch an animation on the 3 Rivers Wet Weather website for further explanation.
Baldwin Borough workers or contractors must complete the recommended project or make other adjustments to lessen its sewage flow in the Pleasant Hills Authority system by June 2015.
Baldwin officials still have to decide how to pay for the project.
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