Editor’s Note

When we interview potential new writers at Mt. Lebanon Magazine, one of the questions we ask them is “How would you make sewers interesting?” Let’s face it. Sewers draw the interest of some people, but they’re probably not as popular as say, puppies. Believe it or not, we see that as a huge problem we need to overcome. 

Why is that? Because whether or not you realize it, properly functioning sewers keep you safe. They allow for cleaner drinking water and they can keep your home from flooding. Properly constructed storm sewers keep roads safe to drive on because they drain away flood waters and prevent ice spots from appearing.  

As you might expect, properly built sewers aren’t cheap. They run underneath our property, along the sides of our roads and in places that are hard to access. They require talented and qualified engineers and contractors to ensure they’re designed and installed correctly. And we’re sure it hasn’t escaped your notice that we are seeing more severe storms more often than we are used to.  

The bottom line is all of this infrastructure has been getting more expensive to manage. On top of that, the federal government is requiring Mt. Lebanon—and 83 other communities in our area—to reduce the amount of stormwater that goes into our sanitary sewers. This work costs money and all Mt. Lebanon property owners, including nonprofits like schools, houses of worship and St. Clair Health, will be paying for this work. 

Your stormwater rates will be going up 12 percent starting in 2024. Managing Editor Merle Jantz’s story explains all of this in greater detail, including communicating how that money will be used.  

Thankfully, Mt. Lebanon has always been on the forefront of sewer science. We have been upgrading our system consistently since 2011. Many other communities are just now realizing the large amount of work they have before them. I am grateful we are already on our way to making our water cleaner and our environment safer. 

Your sewer doesn’t look at you lovingly when you come home from work. You can’t scratch its ears and it doesn’t snuggle on a cold night. It is clearly NOT a puppy. But if we don’t take the right steps and invest properly, both can leave a huge mess that no one should have to clean up. 

LauraPace Lilley, Editor in Chief
lpace@mtlebanon.org / 412-343-3552