One Water: Pittsburgh’s Guide to Action

Pittsburghers are deeply familiar with both positive and negative water experiences. A visit to Point State Park celebrates our water resources. Walking by a stream or pond refreshes and brings peace of mind. On the other hand, solutions must be found to reduce sewage in the rivers, erosion and landslides hastened by saturated soils, and flooding on major roadways, and address other issues.

Many agencies across the public and private sectors are working to improve these conditions. Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA), Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN), and Pennsylvania American Water are tasked with ensuring clean and safe water in Pittsburgh and are investing millions of dollars in water infrastructure. This includes both grey infrastructure (pipes and underground storage-based systems) and green infrastructure (landscape/surface-based systems).

Green infrastructure is designed to capture rainwater where it falls, slow it down, and clean it while enhancing community spaces like parks. In addition to promoting cleaner rivers and streams, green infrastructure projects can also lessen the impact of flooding and erosion, while creating beautiful and relaxing green spaces.

Informed citizens play an essential role in advocating and planning for equitable water infrastructure. If we work with community organizations, professionals, and agency staff, together we can develop an integrated system that protects water, people, and public green space. We need many voices to express how green infrastructure can benefit our families and communities. This guide explains some basics on how our water system works, and ways that you and your neighbors can be part of the movement to improve it.

One Water: Pittsburgh’s Guide to Action
Download a PDF of the One Water Guide

One Water: An Introduction and Guide to Action
17 September 2019 Blog Post by Gavin White