Sewer construction, 1914

Sewer construction, 1914

Smallman Street construction, 2018

Smallman Street construction, 2018


Sewers are the often “out of sight, out of mind” work horse of a functioning water infrastructure system. We usually don’t think much about sewers until something goes wrong with them. That is why for so many decades, we took for granted that the sewers that were built generations ago would last forever. We know now that is not the case, so we are prioritizing rebuilding key sewers and outfalls.



Sewers Under Structures

As Pittsburgh grew, many of its buildings and bridges were constructed over existing sewer infrastructure. Now, due to aging pipes and limited accessibility, there has been an increasing rate of failure of these critical assets. PWSA is investing $6.7 million in the next few years to rehabilitate, relocate or reroute sewer lines located under buildings and bridges or adjacent to steep slopes that are prone to landslides.

Replacing this infrastructure will make our sewer system more resilient and reduce the likelihood of property or structural damage, replacement costs, and service outages. 


Smallman Street Water and Sewer Improvements

In early 2018, PWSA began one of its most visible infrastructure projects – replacing the water and sewer lines along Smallman Street between 16th and 21st Streets. These pipes, over 100 years old, were located under the existing Produce Terminal. To avoid service disruptions and emergency repairs, PWSA began construction to replace this aging component of our water and sewer system before it failed, benefitting the investments in the area.

The project also meets requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency to replace, where practical, combined sewer systems with systems that separate stormwater and wastewater.

The Strip District is one of Pittsburgh’s most active business districts and it is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. PWSA proactively coordinated construction with impacted businesses and City departments to minimize construction disruptions. This $13 million project is on schedule and under budget. It will result in over 7,000 feet of new water lines, storm sewers, and sanitary sewers, while improving water quality and the reliability of our water, storm, and sewer systems for 50-100 years. 


Maytide Storm and Sanitary System Improvements

Localized property and street flooding are well-documented at the intersection of Maytide Street and the Sanderson City Steps in the Carrick Overbrook neighborhoods. Topography, a lack of investment, and poor street maintenance cause unsafe conditions during severe storms.

PWSA is designing a project that will replace sanitary and storm sewer infrastructure on portions of Merrit Avenue, Sanderson Avenue, and Maytide Street to manage flows during storm events.

This project is currently in its design phase and is estimated to cost $6.2 million.