Scott Baker and Stacey Graf

Scott Baker and Stacey Graf discuss the stream stabilization project.

The municipality of Bethel Park broke ground Sept. 9 for an approximate two-month Saw Mill Run stream stabilization project involving about 350 feet of stream bank to Saw Mill Run off Milford Drive.

“Over the years, this section of the stream has really changed, and this project will help stabilize the stream banks along with improving our storm water management of the area,” Tim Moury, Bethel Park Council president, said.

According to municipal engineering director Stacey Graf, the project will mitigate the erosion problem within the headwaters of the stream.

“Many streams in Western Pennsylvania have highly eroded banks, property being lost, fallen trees, exposed sewers, and vegetation being swept away,” she said. “As the severity of the rainfall events are changing, this scenario is playing out all over the municipality.”

The effort also is geared toward reducing sediment in Saw Mill Run. To accomplish stream stabilization, energy of the stream will be taken from the banks and directed back to the center of the channel.

“This is a project that is trying to improve the environmental health of the stream,” Scott Baker of Gateway Engineers, the firm that designed the project, explained. “Boulder cascades, rock cross vanes, log rollovers and root wads will all be used within the stream to slow its velocity and decrease bank erosion.

“Additionally, we’ll be using bank stabilization techniques including branch layering, stream bank regrading, outfall protection, and gravel bar removal. A buffer seed mix will also be planted to help stabilize the stream,” he said.

The project is being funded in part by a Growing Greener Grant through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

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