Murrysville officials budgeting funds to address storm water damage

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As Murrysville officials look at potential capital improvements over the next five years, one issue is starting to consume a larger percentage of the capital budget — damage from storm water.

“We lost half of Beighley Road with the storm that came through Plum a couple weeks ago, and we need to replace a culvert there,” Murrysville Chief Administrator Jim Morrison told council members at their Aug. 7 meeting. “An old ‘tin whistle pipe,’ (an older-style, corrugated metal culvert) has collapsed and impacted a backyard on North Hills Road, and we have another on Sardis Road.”

Morrison said he plans to address the North Hills Road pipe collapse first, and proposed spending about $10,000 on engineering design work.

“We’ve put money into the capital improvement plan to address these problems moving forward,” Morrison said. “That’s something we’ll probably continue to do, because this issue doesn’t look to be going away anytime soon.”

The five-year capital improvement plan lays out about $535,000 dedicated to storm water-related issues like detention pond maintenance, storm sewer maintenance and compliance with the state’s MS4 requirements, which must be followed by all communities with a storm water conveyance system that is separate from its sewage conveyance system.

The municipality was also made aware that a plastic storm water pipe in the relatively new Heritage Estates development “was not properly laid or back-filled,” Morrison said. “It runs through a number of backyards there and has collapsed, and the pipe is about 27 feet deep. (Public works doesn’t) have the ability in-house to (fix) that. Before the end of the year, we’ll probably have to have an engineering investigation of that to determine some alternatives.”

Communities throughout the east suburbs are dealing with storm water issues that have been exacerbated by this spring and summer’s heavy rainfall.

In Export, borough officials are working to meet the next deadline in their state-approved long-term flood control plan by eliminating any connections that funnel storm water into the borough’s sewer pipes.

In Delmont, borough officials are working to finalize a consent agreement with the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to address sewage overflows believed to be caused by storm water infiltrating the sanitary sewer system.

And from a wider perspective, Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority board members are seeking to create a comprehensive picture of their entire system, in an effort to eliminate infiltration and inflow of storm water into their sewer pipes.

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