Mt. Lebanon addresses flooding issues

Published Jul 23, 2013 at 10:28 am (Updated Jul 23, 2013 at 10:28 am)

Concerned that heavy rainstorms are now happening more frequently, Mt. Lebanon commissioners are discussing storm water management options to help the municipality cope with flooding that may occur in the future.

The discussion took place at the commission’s July 22 meeting, and during the session, commissioners learned from Mt. Lebanon Municipal Engineer Dan Deiseroth the extent of the damage from flooding that occurred during storms on July 9 and 10.

According to Deiseroth, 4.2 inches of rain fell on Mt. Lebanon over a 12-hour period, officially categorizing the event as a 100-year storm. Since June 1, nine inches of rain have fallen in the area.

“In my tenure here, this is the fourth event of this magnitude,” Deiseroth told commissioners. “It’s happening more frequently.”

Deiseroth said there have been 52 calls to the Mt. Lebanon Public Works Department regarding property issues from flooding after the storms. Ten of those calls have been sanitary sewer related.

“The list continues to grow on a daily basis,” Deiseroth said. “We’re putting a coordinated effort together to address the problems.”

Areas that were hit hard by the flooding include Shadowlawn Avenue, Castle Shannon Boulevard and Morgan Drive, where pavement was uplifted from sewer pressure.

“We need to continue to meet with people and investigate the causes of flooding,” Deiseroth said. “We also need to consider alternatives for properties with chronic flooding.”

Some of those solutions include installing backwater valves to prevent sanitary sewers from entering residents’ homes, providing incentives to homeowners for improving their own storm water management systems, such as replacing downspouts, and adding more capacity to Mt. Lebanon’s sanitary sewers.

Deiseroth said Mt. Lebanon has been proactive with storm water management with the municipality’s road improvement projects now including storm water renovations, a recently passed storm water fund and a recently completed $10,000 project on Castle Shannon Boulevard that included installing 50 additional feet of sanitary sewer pipe.

But even those improvements can’t stop Mother Nature.

“I’ve been on the phone with people who were crying about the flooding in their homes,” Deiseroth said. “It’s very disheartening for me, as an engineer, to see these things occur.”

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