ALCOSAN provides wastewater treatment for most of Allegheny County and, as such, is dedicated to improving the quality of the region’s waterways. Earth Day is a reminder that we all can contribute in ways large and small.

On the small end, one way ALCOSAN employees observe Earth Day is by taking to the streets near our North Side plant to pick up litter that fouls our roadways. Every year, we are horrified by the huge array of trash that we collect, but we are happy to help make the neighborhood cleaner. Throughout the year, we participate in community events that entertain and educate the public about the importance of clean water, culminating in our annual fall open house.

But ALCOSAN’s mission happens on a large scale. We have developed a 20-year, multi-billion-dollar Clean Water Plan that addresses the problem of overflows into our rivers and streams. The problem is caused by a combination of aging infrastructure and topography. During rain and heavy snow melt, the wastewater collection system becomes overloaded, which leads to untreated wastewater containing sewage entering the waterways.

ALCOSAN is tackling the problem in four ways: using green infrastructure and other means to prevent stormwater that doesn’t require treatment from getting into the system in the first place; taking responsibility for more of the larger sewers that currently are owned and operated by municipalities; increasing the capacity of our treatment plant; and planning for the long-term future.

The goal of a cleaner, greener future is essential for the health of the region. It’s a task that ALCOSAN is proud to tackle on Earth Day and every day.