The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) provides technical assistance and support to the development community. This lesser known function helps to clarify the development process, and ensures that permitting requirements are being met. Whether you are constructing a single-family home, office complex, or multi-residential apartment building, understanding requirements to connect water, sewer, and stormwater services is an important part of any project.
Before starting a project, meet with PWSA to understand the permitting process. PWSA’s Development Procedures Manual outlines design and construction specifications based on the type of project and volume of water a project will need to manage. The best way to understand these requirements is to review the manual and schedule a pre-development meeting with PWSA staff.
PWSA’s permitting process ensures State requirements are met. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) limits the number of new connections that may be added to PWSA’s existing water and sewer distribution systems. The permitting process helps to ensure that our systems can handle additional demand and ultimately prevents sewage backups and overflows to our waterways.
“New development is happening throughout Pittsburgh, and PWSA must ensure that new projects have established the proper connections for water and sewer services,” stated Robert Weimar, Interim Executive Director. “Meeting with us in the early stages of your project will clarify our requirements, and will help developers factor in appropriate costs and avoid costly delays before obtaining permits.”
Updates to the manual include simplified text, and an improved user experience. Each chapter is available as a separate link, simply use the table of contents to jump from one chapter to the next – developers can review the entire document or only the chapters that pertain to their project.
The most notable updates pertain to the “Structures over Facilities” section. It requires developers to relocate, at their expense, any existing PWSA infrastructure that crosses under a proposed or existing development. This policy change applies to new construction as well as any renovation of an existing building.
Incorporating green infrastructure is encouraged. As regulations for capturing stormwater become more stringent, and Pittsburgh implements its Green First plan, this section provides developers with recommended guidelines for constructing projects that account for the importance of managing stormwater throughout the city and region.
Forms and other notices important to developers have been added and include information related to PWSA’s requirements. They help to enhance transparency and the exchange of information between developers and the Authority.
“These improvements will help developers meet PWSA’s requirements,” Robert Weimar stated. “Our goal is to make a complex process understandable and to provide developers with the information they need to make accurate financial projections. We encourage you to meet with us early in the project to avoid surprises and delays.”
Find the manual online and meet with PWSA. PWSA’s Development Procedures Manual is available online at http://www.pgh2o.com/developer-manual. Pre-Development Meetings can be scheduled through PWSA’s online system at http://pgh2o.com/forms-permits.