The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) is a nonprofit agency that provides wastewater treatment services to 83 communities, including the City of Pittsburgh. Their mission? To provide cost effective, customer oriented and environmentally conscious wastewater treatment that protects public health and enhances the use of our natural resources.

Photo by Stephanie Strasburg | Trib Total Media

ALCOSAN is committed to following environmentally mindful practices in their wastewater collection and treatment systems. They innovatively take products of their waste treatment processes and use them for useful tasks. For example, incineration generates about 24,000 lbs/hr of steam, but ALCOSAN uses this steam to heat their treatment facility as a clean alternative of energy. In addition, they use 5 million gal/d of treated effluent water for various operations, including exhaust scrubbing, cooling water, and equipment cleaning. This reuse water eliminates the need to use City water. ALCOSAN also began the reuse of their wastewater treatment residuals in 1991 with the creation of its limed stabilized bio solids called ALCOSOIL. They use a percentage of this ALCOSOIL to reclaim damaged land or as a soil supplement on farmland. ALCOSAN also follows their permits from state regulatory agencies to ensure the proper recycling of their ALCOSOIL and incinerator ash.

Their eco-friendly mission does not stop there. ALCOSAN employees utilize bicycles to travel around their 56-acre plant, which is efficient and environmentally friendly. When bicycles are not an option, they also have introduced new hybrid vehicles. ALCOSAN has implemented energy efficiency by upgrading their older light fixtures in their plants with fluorescent or LED lights and installing timer and motion sensor lights.


To read more about how ALCOSAN is operating green at their facilities, click here.