ALCOSAN Wet Weather Plan Public Outreach Program

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

KCI was selected to support ALCOSAN’s public participation team which was responsible for the design and implementation of a region-wide community outreach effort.

As with many states around the country, Pennsylvania is facing the critical issue of aging and overburdened wastewater infrastructures. In the Commonwealth’s home of the “three rivers,” ALCOSAN signed a federal Consent Decree in January 2008 that requires a significant reduction in combined sewer overflows and elimination of sanitary sewer overflows by 2026.

ALCOSAN’s wastewater system, which began operations in 1959, was designed to primarily handle wastewater and some wet weather flows. Today this system of 90 miles of sewer line is overburdened during wet weather events whenever precipitation amounts throughout its 309-square-mile service area exceed more than one-tenth of an inch. Under the terms of its Consent Decree, signed after seven years of negotiations, ALCOSAN must implement a long-term control plan to bring its operation into compliance with clean water laws by 2026.

ALCOSAN-Wet-Weather-Public-Involvement-SignKCI’s role included strategic communications planning; creation of educational and informational materials to heighten the awareness of a diverse customer base; preparation for and documentation of public forums to update interested parties on the plan and to obtain input on specific elements; publication of a bi-monthly newsletter for municipal officials; and facilitation and documentation of dialogue between the Authority and its 83 customer municipalities (in part, through quarterly meetings with a 14-member Customer Municipality Advisory Committee and a broader 35-member Regional Stakeholders Group).