USC Flood

Photo courtesy of Jeff Valperga

This undated photo shows water flowing from a manhole on Jeff Valperga’s property on Walther Lane in Upper St. Clair.

Upper St. Clair resident Jeff Valperga has been dealing with flooding on his property for nine years.

But over the last year or so, with higher than average rainfall and more residential development, the flooding at Valperga’s property at 3331 Walther Lane has gotten worse.

During the Upper St. Clair commissioners’ Jan. 7 meeting, Valperga showed officials photos of water rushing out of manhole covers and remnants of raw sewage in his yard after recent flooding at his property. He said that after an above average rainfall, manhole covers are blown off and sewage is deposited in his and his neighbors’ yards and basements.

Valperga admitted that the municipality has helped with cleanup of his yard after flooding events, but he wants a permanent solution. He said the problem keeps getting worse due to increased real estate development in Bethel Park and Upper St. Clair, with the increased waste overloading what Valperga called an “antiquated sewage system.”

While Valperga thinks the installation of a grinder pump and check valve could help prevent sewage from entering his home, there would still be a problem with raw sewage in his yard.

Board president Mark Christie said the township would comply with its responsibility for public property, and township manager Matt Serakowski said the township would continue to look into the matter.

At the same meeting, the board adopted an amendment to Chapter 99 of the township code to update requirements for stormwater management. The action brings the municipality in line with Allegheny County’s Act 167 County-wide Stormwater Management Plan and Model Ordinance.

Adopted in December 2017, Act 167 requires municipalities to “adopt or amend, and shall implement such ordinances and regulations, including zoning, subdivision and development, building code, and erosion and sedimentation ordinances, as are necessary to regulate development within the Municipality in a manner consistent with the applicable watershed stormwater plan and the provisions of this act.”

Upper St. Clair has had stormwater management requirements, but they have primarily applied to larger-scale development and construction. With the new amendment, residential small projects with additional impervious area, such as patios, sheds or other structures that prevent infiltration, or earth disturbance, such as grading or excavating, will now be subject to stormwater management requirements.

Capture and detention of stormwater can be accomplished through rain barrels, rain gardens, rock sumps, bio-swales and other methods approved by the Township. Questions regarding the new stormwater management requirements can be directed to Upper St. Clair’s Community Development Department at 412-831-9000 x501.

For The Almanac

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