Calming the Storms in Four Mile Run
Learn how stormwater improvements in Four Mile Run can create safe, flood-prepared neighborhoods.
Pittsburgh, PA - On Monday, September 17th the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will host a community meeting to discuss stormwater improvements throughout Four Mile Run. This is the first meeting of a larger community engagement process focusing on the stormwater improvements PWSA is making to build safe, flood-prepared neighborhoods.
The September 17th community meeting will provide an overview of the Four Mile Run project, introduce the proposed concepts for managing stormwater, and provide an opportunity for attendees to share their ideas and concerns.
“The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is excited to host this meeting and begin the discussion about Four Mile Run,” stated Robert Weimar, PWSA’s Executive Director. “It's an opportunity to hear about the steps we are taking to build safe, flood-prepared neighborhoods, and above all, improving the region’s water quality. Improving our stormwater control will reduce combined sewer overflows and flooding, which will make our neighborhoods safer, healthier places to live. We encourage you to attend this meeting to learn about the project and share your ideas.”
The meeting begins at 6:30 pm and will take place at the Special Events Hall at Phipps Conservatory. Before the meeting at 5:30 pm, attendees may participate in an optional walk through of Schenley Park to better understand the project area and proposed improvements. Those interested in attending the meeting may register online using Eventbrite.
About the Four Mile Run Stormwater Improvement Project
Four Mile Run encompasses Schenley Park and several Pittsburgh neighborhoods including Greenfield, Hazelwood, Oakland, and Squirrel Hill. These neighborhoods, like many throughout Pittsburgh, experience the impacts of stormwater that has nowhere to go. When it rains hard, as it often does, stormwater overflows into streams and rivers, floods neighborhoods, and causes sewage to overflow into streets and basements – all of which create severe threats to public health and safety.
Nearly a century ago, the natural stream in this area was diverted underground through pipes that are now part of our combined sewer system. This system sends sewer and stormwater directly to the river. Over time, much of the land within Four Mile Run was paved over. While these were standard practices of the time, they are no longer acceptable and contribute to the recent problems of flooding and sewer overflows throughout Pittsburgh. The Four Mile Run stormwater improvement project will capture and route the flow of stormwater through a naturalized surface channel that will generally follow the path of the historic streams that formed Four Mile Run from Panther Hollow Lake to the Monongahela River. Panther Hollow Lake will be allowed to discharge to the Monongahela River instead of the combined sewer.
Redirecting the flow of water through a naturalized surface channel will help to prevent combined sewer overflows and reduce the intensity of flooding that occurs throughout Four Mile Run. Additionally, PWSA is evaluating the construction of wetlands and other natural stormwater treatment systems along with improvements to Panther Hollow Lake. These improvements will help to control sediment, provide habitat for wildlife, and filter pollutants from the stormwater before it enters the river.
This project provides opportunities to construct additional nature-based stormwater solutions that will improve water quality by reducing the amount of stormwater entering the combined sewer system. It also includes the restoration of recreation uses at Panther Hollow Lake and improvements to Junction Hollow Trail in Schenley Park.
For more information about PWSA’s stormwater program and Four Mile Run, please visit www.pgh2o.com/going-green. PWSA is proud to partner with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, the City of Pittsburgh, the Heinz Foundation, and ALCOSAN.