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Regional Solutions

Allegheny County communities are struggling to address the largest and most costly public works project ever faced by the Pittsburgh region—the rehabilitation and long-term maintenance and operation of 4,000 miles of sewers that serve nearly one million County residents.  It is estimated that the region’s total price tag for reaching this goal could exceed $4 billion.  A project of this magnitude is not feasible under our current sewer system management by 83 separate municipal entities.

Other parts of the country, struggling with the same issue, have implemented successful regional approaches to long-term sewer system operation and maintenance. While these regions may differ in the size, number and structure of their communities, they still serve as positive case studies for Allegheny County to model. 3RWW is committed to improving water quality through the most cost-effective regional solutions to ensure the region’s investment in our sewer infrastructure is sustainable for generations to come.

Alliance of Rouge Communities

The Alliance of Rouge Communities (ARC), is a voluntary public watershed entity currently comprising 36 municipal governments, three counties and the Wayne County Airport Authority in southeast Michigan.

Officially formed in January of 2006, the ARC members represent public agencies with water management responsibilities whose jurisdictional boundaries are totally or in part located within the Rouge River watershed located in southeast Michigan . Some of ARCs accomplishments include:

  •  Established a model for cooperative watershed approaches to storm water management that resulted in a new statewide watershed permit option for meeting federal and state storm water discharge requirements
  • Prepared and distributed of materials/information/ideas among members that have reduced the cost and increased the effectiveness of pollution control efforts
  • Reduced the cost of compliance with storm water permits through the development of templates for required reports

Learn more.

Metropolitan Sewer District (Louisville, KY)

In early 1946, a state law was passed allowing the City of Louisville to create the Louisville and Jefferson County Metropolitan Sewer District to take over the city’s old combined sanitary and storm sewer system and expand its service area throughout Jefferson County, Kentucky. For years, the MSD struggled with sewer and drainage problems, and in 1948 the MSD was ordered to build a sewage treatment plant and stop discharging untreated wastewater into the Ohio River.  By October 1986, MSD had entered agreements to buy 43 small plants serving 26,000 customers — about 57 percent of those who had been served by small plants. By the end of 1987, more than 10 small plants had been eliminated. Under MSD’s ownership, operational standards were usually increased, and stream pollution was usually reduced. The early 1990s brought MSD’s first concrete moves to provide service in adjacent counties. The first to be served were relatively small areas just across the county line, where septic tanks and poorly functioning sewers would affect streams that flowed into Jefferson County.  Learn more.

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

Prior to 1972, the City of Cleveland owned and operated the three major wastewater treatment plants and their tributary intercepting sewers, which continue to provide for the conveyance, treatment and disposal of the wastewater from Cleveland and many surrounding communities. In July 1972, the Cleveland Regional Sewer District was created and charged with the responsibility for planning, financing, constructing, operating and controlling wastewater treatment and disposal facilities, major interceptor sewers and other water pollution control facilities within its service area. In 1979, the name of the District was changed to the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. Learn more.

Northern Kentucky Sanitation District 1

Sanitation District No.1 (SD1) was established in 1946 by the Division of Sanitary Engineering of the Kentucky Department of Health. The original area served by the District contained 17 municipalities and covered 25 square miles. At that time, each community had its own independent system for the collection and treatment of sewage. It was SD1’s responsibility to construct a sewage treatment plant and collection system that would convey sewage from the various municipalities to a treatment facility, which it completed In 1954. In 1994, in response to pending changes in environmental regulations and increased public interest in consolidation of services, SD1 began to operate sewage and drainage systems in cities located within its jurisdictional boundaries. On July 1, 1995, 28 cities in Northern Kentucky turned over ownership of their sanitary sewer systems SD1. By year’s end, SD1 assumed ownership and operational responsibility for approximately 900 additional miles of sanitary sewer lines and related pump stations. Learn more.