Calming the Storm

Street damage due to intense storms /Photo: Rudy Sukal

In 2011, Mt. Lebanon became the second community in Pennsylvania to institute a separate fund to pay for improvements to the infrastructure that reduces the amount of stormwater that finds its way into the sanitary sewer system.

Now, a decade later, Mt. Lebanon has spent close to $11 million on stormwater infrastructure. The stormwater fund is expected to bring in more than $1.5 million in 2021.

“You don’t see (the improvements), but they’re doing a significant thing,” said municipal engineer Dan Deiseroth. Deiseroth briefed commissioners on a few of the major projects the fund has made possible over the past 10 years.

Scrubgrass Road stream rehabilitation 2012, $162,065 Erosion of the stream bank was causing frequent flooding and slow drainage. Installed a trash rack to capture debris before it can enter the sewer system, and revamped the stream bank to more efficiently channel water into the sewer pipe.

Sleepy Hollow inlet installation 2014, $179,714 Installed catchbasins and pipes to connect to the stormwater system to more effectively capture stormwater and reduce flooding.

Lindendale Drive retaining wall 2016, $135,585 Reduced flooding on Lindendale from the stream that runs parallel to the road.

Longuevue/Woodhaven/Forest Glen storm sewer 2016, $758,787 Addressed chronic flooding caused by insufficient infrastructure on Longuevue Drive, which in turn caused flooding on Woodhaven and Forest Glen drives. Installed catchbasins and storm sewers.

Orchard Drive storm sewer rerouting, 2016, $161,778 In the past, homebuilders could construct houses directly atop sewer pipes, making it impossible to maintain or repair the pipes without seriously impacting the homeowner. This practice has since been discontinued, and corrective measures rerouted an 18-inch storm sewer pipe from underneath the house to tie it in with the existing sewer line.

Public Works Yard culvert repair, 2018-2020, $169,688 Structural reinforcement of a 108-inch culvert and the installation of a trash rack to capture debris allows for improved drainage and reduces the chance of flooding on Cedar Boulevard and Lindendale Drive.

Golf Course swale, 2019, $135,867 The big storm of 2018 caused flooding in several areas around Mt. Lebanon. The municipality installed a vegetated swale—an open drainage channel with flood-tolerant, erosion-resistant plants—on the Mt. Lebanon golf course, to redirect floodwater to a nearby stream, reducing the chance of flooding on Thornwood Avenue and Thornwood Drive.

Ella Drive and Chalmers Place storm sewer extensions, 2020, $125,000 Extending the storm sewer system reduces chronic flooding.

Moreland Drive storm sewer repair, 2020, $278,224 Extension of an existing sewer line.

Bird Park stream restoration, 2020, $148,230 Stabilized the stream bank in Bird Park, slowing the flow of stormwater which reduces erosion.