March 20th, 2015
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) Board of Directors authorized a resolution providing $200,000 to create a Residential Homeowner Assistance Program (RHAP) to aid Pittsburgh homeowners facing potentially steep costs to remove storm water connections from sanitary sewers.
This requirement was imposed on property owners by the 2004 Consent Order and Agreement (COA) between the PWSA, the City of Pittsburgh, the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD). The COA also required the City of Pittsburgh to enact an ordinance mandating residential properties in a sanitary sewer area perform and pass a dye test demonstrating compliance with the requirement to disconnect prior to the property being sold, which it did in 2006. The cost to a homeowner to meet the disconnection requirement ranges from $250 to as much as $30,000.
Under PWSA’s RHAP program, grants and loans will help qualified homeowners pay for home repairs to make a property compliant. Eligible projects may include green solutions such as rain barrels. Dollar Energy Fund will serve as the grant and loan program administrator and first point of customer contact for Pittsburgh homeowners who wish to participate in this program.
The $200,000 approved by the PWSA Board of Directors will provide PWSA and Dollar Energy Fund with funding to develop and administer a grant and loan program to provide qualified homeowners with assistance to address a storm sewer connection on their property that has failed a required dye test. PWSA and Dollar Energy Fund will seek additional funding sources to further capitalize and support this program. The program will be in effect on March 31, 2015. Those seeking assistance should call 1-888-282-6816.
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) provides water and sewer services to more than 300,000 consumers throughout the City of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. Dollar Energy Fund is a qualified 501 C-3 non-profit and, since 1983, Dollar Energy Fund’s grants have helped more than 400,000 families maintain or restore safe utility services. To learn more about the requirements of the Dye Test and Consent Order Agreement that impacts Pittsburgh homeowners, please visitwww.pgh2o.com/dye-testing.
City of Pittsburgh Councilwoman Deb Gross introduced a Will of Council resolution supporting the program during council’s March 17 meeting. The resolution was unanimously approved.
Councilwoman Gross speaks in support of the RHAP program as she addresses the media during a press conference outside of Council chambers on Tuesday, March 17, 2015. She is joined by (L-R) Margaret L. Lanier, Vice Chairman PWSA Board of Directors; Dan O’Brien, Dollar Energy Fund’s Director of Business Development; Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak; Jim Good, Interim Executive Director of PWSA; and Brendan Schubert, PWSA’s Manager of External Affairs.
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