Project Components

Project Components

The main purpose of the RRRP is to construct green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) that will capture runoff within the project boundaries prior to it entering the combined sewer system. We have approached this problem with a multi-faceted solution, including large GSI installations along and in the street, smaller streetside stormwater tree pits, rain gardens, and rain barrels. This neighborhood approach allows us to capture rain runoff from individual parcels and large impervious surfaces (parking lots, streets, etc.). This project would not be possible without the generous grants from our funders.

Large Sites

The 3 large sites for Phase I of the project will capture millions of gallons of runoff annually from the streets in the RRRP area. They are the centerpiece of the first phase and will handle the majority of runoff causing combined sewer overflows into Nine Mile Run. Each site has been designed with a fusion of manmade and natural solutions, with trees, native vegetation, perennial flowers, and rain garden plants coupled with modular underground storage for large rain events. The goal with each site is to infiltrate as much runoff as possible.

The Oakwood-Batavia site includes bioswale bumpout and green gutter on Oakwood and Batavia Streets. Runoff not infiltrated is piped across Batavia Street to an underground storage system that will hold water and slowly infiltrate it during heavy rains. The project begins to beautify a blighted corner that is characterized by several vacant lots.

  • Design – Project Designers were Ethos Collaborative, Landbase Systems, and StormWorks. Final designs were completed in spring of 2016.
  • Construction – General Contractor is PJ Dick. StormWorks managed the landscaping and provided training for the OBB Jr. Green Corps. Project construction timeline was June-October of 2016.
  • Funding – Total cost was $232,000 for design and construction.
  • Results – The site is expected to capture between 700,000 – 1.7 million gallons annually of stormwater runoff. With an annual cost per gallon removed of $0.36 – $0.16. For more detail, please view this report by Ethos Collaborative. Results will be verified by post-construction monitoring.

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The Crescent Early Childhood Center is a Pittsburgh Public School facility located at the bottom of a steep hill (Tokay Street). The project brings runoff from the street onto the expansive front campus of the school via a stormwater tree pit, and the water then moves through a series of connected rain gardens with underground storage to capture large rain events. NMRWA hopes to use the GSI as a teaching tool for future generations.

  • Design – Project Designers were Ethos Collaborative and StormWorks.
  • Final designs were completed in November 2016.
  • Construction – General Contractor is JASE Construction Services. StormWorks managed the landscaping and provided training for the OBB Jr. Green Corps. Project construction timeline for the main rain garden portion of the project was July-August of 2016. The vegetated swale on the Tokay Street sidewalk and overflow connection will be completed in spring of 2017.
  • Funding – Total cost was $117,815 for design and construction.
  • Results -The site is expected to capture over 325,000 gallons annually of stormwater runoff. Results will be verified by post-construction monitoring.

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The Frankstown-Wheeler site is located in a small neighborhood business district on Frankstown Avenue at the bottom of a very steep hill (Wheeler Street). The site is owned by Lamar Advertising and in the process of being gifted to Operation Better Block. The site will be maintained by the OBB Jr. Green Corps. The project will capture runoff from Wheeler Street through a series of stormwater tree pits and pipe it to the open space surrounding the existing billboards, which will remain, then infiltrate the water through a series of connected rain gardens with underground storage to capture large rain events.

  • Design – In the summer of 2014, conceptual designs were completed by Ethos Collaborative and StormWorks for an underutilized parcel at the intersection of Frankstown Avenue and Wheeler Street. NMRWA will complete the designs in early 2017.
  • Construction – Expected construction date by the end of 2017.
  • Funding – Total cost based on conceptual designs is approximately $170,000 for design and construction.
  • Results – The site is expected to capture over 650,000 gallons annually of stormwater runoff. Results will be verified by post-construction monitoring.

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Stormwater Tree Planters

The 40 stormwater tree planters will collectively capture hundreds of thousands of gallons of runoff annually from the streets in the RRRP area. Some of the tree pits are designed to contain individual trees, while others are long linear connected pits with several trees. All tree pits will be planted with native vegetation as ground cover.

A total of 4 individual tree pits.

  • Construction – General Contractor was Penn Landscaping & Cement Work. Project was constructed in May 2016.
  • Funding – Total cost was $15,000 for construction.
  • Results – Each tree pit is able to retain 270 gallons of runoff per rain event.

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A total of 5 trees planted in 2 linear tree pits.

  • Construction – General Contractor was Penn Landscaping & Cement Work. Project was constructed in November 2016.
  • Funding – Total cost was $20,600 for construction.
  • Results – The two tree pits are able to retain 1,350 gallons of runoff per rain event.

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Rain Barrels

NMRWA received a grant from PA DEP Growing Greener to give away 200 FREE rain barrels to Homewood, East Hills, and Penn Hills residents as part of Phase I of the RRRP. Rain barrels are excellent ways for homeowners to become watershed stewards on their own properties.

The map below shows the boundaries of the RRRP area (highlighted in red). Any properties within the boundaries are eligible for a free Hydra rain barrel. StormWorks will visit your house to identify the best placement on your property and then return to install the rain barrel, all free of cost.

Please contact us today, as we are quickly reaching the 200 rain barrel threshold.

Rain barrels can also be installed on properties outside of the boundaries for a fee. If you would like more information, please contact our StormWorks team.

In the summer of 2015, StormWorks trained the OBB Jr. Green Corps to install rain barrels and gardens and provided education on sustainable stormwater management techniques on the residential scale. This partnership continued in the summer of 2016, continuing rain barrel and garden installations, with the Jr. Green Corps installing rain barrel and gardens, as well as, plantings at the Oakwood-Batavia and Crescent ECC sites

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Rain Gardens

As part of Phase I of the RRRP, NMRWA installed 8 residential rain gardens in the project area free of cost. Of the gardens installed, 3 in Penn Hills and 5 in Homewood. StormWorks managed the process of design and installation. There are many ways to manage rainwater on your property in addition to rain barrels. Rain gardens are one of the best tools, and StormWorks is one of the best in the region at designing and installing rain gardens.
In addition to the residential rain gardens, PWSA granted $10k to StormWorks in partnership with  the City of Pittsburgh Housing Authority and Landforce to build a rain garden at the Homewood North Family Investment Center, which is in the RRRP boundaries. This project will be completed in 2017.

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Rain gardens can also be installed on properties outside of the boundaries for a fee. If you would like more information, please contact our StormWorks team.

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In addition to the residential rain gardens, PWSA granted $10k to StormWorks in partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh and Landforce to build a rain garden at the Homewood North Family Investment Center, which is in the RRRP boundaries. This project will be completed by the end of 2016.