The Sanitary sewer system of the Municipality of Bethel Park is comprised of over 200 miles of sewer system of varying sizes, with the majority being 8” vitrified clay pipe and over 6000 sanitary manholes. The Bethel Park sewer system is a separate system, meaning it is only meant to convey waste water, i.e. toilet, shower, laundry and not storm water. It is important to emphasize that sump pumps, downspouts, french drains, or any other system collecting storm water does not enter the sanitary system.
The system is divided into two major sewer sheds with approximately 2/3 of the sewer system draining to the Bethel Park Waste Water Treatment Facility, located in South Park, and the remaining 1/3 drainage to ALCOSAN (Allegheny County Sanitary Authority). These two water sheds are then delineated into nine smaller subsheds corresponding to their drainage area. The majority of the sewer system is dated back to the 1950’s through the 1970’s, which at that time limited construction materials to either concrete or terracotta pipe. The most widely used material for our system and most others is terra cotta. Terra cotta is a furnace blast clay material formed into pipe sections that make a great conduit for sewer water conveyance. Over the years, the sewer system has held up quite well, but eventually age and outside sources take its toll and the pipe begins to deteriorate. For this reason, constant observation through the use of CCTV technology allows us to stay ahead of situations that may occur causing the system to malfunction.
Each year The Municipality of Bethel Park budgets funding for projects that are developed to mitigate potential hydraulic malfunctions within the system. Projects consist of repairs made by open cut method, as well as insertion of liners within the host pipe. Other processes utilized when deciding where projects should be completed, include but not limited to, smoke testing, dye testing, and flow monitoring which determines excess flow through data analysis.