3 Rivers Wet Weather Inc. (3RWW)

3 Rivers Wet Weather Inc. (3RWW) orks with 83 communities in the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority service area. No other region in the U.S, outside of Allegheny County, has as many individual sewage collection systems directed to one sewage treatment facility. 3 Rivers Wet Weather is committed to improving the quality of Allegheny County`s water resources by helping communities address the issue of untreated sewage and stormwater overflowing into the region`s waterways. To promote the most cost-effective, long-term, sustainable solutions, the nonprofit organization benchmarks sewer technology, provides financial grants, educates the public and advocates inter-municipal partnerships.

Company details

3901 Penn Avenue, Bldg. #3 , Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania 15224 USA

Locations Served

Business Type:
Service provider
Industry Type:
Water and Wastewater
Market Focus:
Internationally (various countries)

3 Rivers Wet Weather is a nonprofit environmental organization created in 1998 to support 82 Allegheny County municipalities and the City of Pittsburgh in addressing the region’s wet weather overflow problem. Founded jointly by the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) and the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN), 3 Rivers Wet Weather is funded by federal, state and local resources, including local foundations.

During nearly every rainfall or snow melt, excess water gets into municipal sewer systems, which results in untreated sewage and storm water affecting our streams and rivers. These overflows not only violate the Environmental Protection Agency’s federal Clean Water Act, but they cause a multitude of health and environmental concerns, including basement backups and contamination of our primary source of drinking water. In addition, these overflows can result in limits on new sewer tap-ins, which inhibit the region’s economic development.

Since our founding, 3RWW has earned municipal trust by building relationships with municipal officials, regulatory agencies, legislators and other regional leaders. We have worked closely with key municipal and regulatory parties to facilitate the development of a viable, consistent consent order signed by the ALCOSAN service communities in early 2004. To help the communities comply with the consent order’s assessment and evaluation activities, 3RWW continues to provide high quality tools and technical assistance to municipal managers and engineers through regular meetings and its online resources, such as the Municipal Data Support Site and RainWays, our interactive green solutions tool.

Each year, we hold a regional sewer conference to help educate more than 350 engineers, managers, industry professionals and municipal officials on the wet weather issue. 3RWW also provides funding to its service municipalities either through coordinating centralized, regional compliance activities or by awarding it to multi-municipal projects for the study of a new sewer technology or sewer system consolidation options.

With the cooperation and involvement of communities throughout the ALCOSAN service area, 3 Rivers Wet Weather is committed to laying the foundation for sewer system consolidation—the key to long-term system sustainability and improved water quality for generations to come.

Mission

3 Rivers Wet Weather, a nonprofit organization, is committed to improving the quality of Allegheny County's water resources by helping communities address the issue of untreated sewage and storm water affecting the region's waterways. To promote the most cost-effective, long-term, sustainable solutions, 3RWW benchmarks sewer technology, provides financial grants to municipalities and authorities, educates the public and advocates inter-municipal partnerships which will lead to consolidation of the fragmented municipal sewer collection system.

The Pittsburgh region's frequent rainfall brings an underground, out-of-sight problem into clear view. During nearly every rainfall or snow melt, excess water gets into municipal sewer systems, which results in untreated sewage and storm water overflowing into our streams and rivers. These overflows not only violate the Environmental Protection Agency’s federal Clean Water Act, but they cause a multitude of health, environmental and economic development concerns.

3 Rivers Wet Weather is a nonprofit environmental organization created in 1998 to support 82 Allegheny County municipalities and the City of Pittsburgh in addressing the region’s wet weather overflow problem. 3RWW has earned municipal trust by building relationships with municipal officials, regulatory agencies, legislators and other regional leaders.

With the cooperation and involvement of communities throughout the ALCOSAN service area, 3 Rivers Wet Weather is committed to laying the foundation for sewer system consolidation—the key to long-term system sustainability and improved water quality for generations to come.

In 1997, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) initially cited more than 50 communities in the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) service area for sewage overflows that violate the federal Clean Water Act of 1972. The EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice threatened litigation or administrative action against these municipalities and ALCOSAN that would total $275 million in penalties.

To address this critical issue, ALCOSAN and the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD), in a unique partnership, joined forces to create the 3 Rivers Wet Weather Demonstration Program (3RWWDP) in 1998 to help the 83 ALCOSAN municipalities address the region's sewage overflow problem.

Since its inception, 3RWW has assisted communities in a variety of ways, including investing $10.5 million in 33 innovative sewer-related projects throughout Allegheny County. In the first five years, much of the funding was used to support technology demonstrations such as pipe bursting, trenchless technologies, stream removal and sewer separations that other communities could model.

However over the last decade, 3RWW has also focused its resources and support on multi-municipal projects, particularly those that include studies or activities that lead to sewer system consolidation. Through our regional approach to problems, 3RWW has saved millions of dollars for the ratepayers of southwestern Penn­sylvania, while providing invaluable tools to support a long-term viable solution to the problem.