The Hays Mine Water Treatment Plant, Becks Run Pumping Station, Arlington Booster Station and E.H. Aldrich Treatment Complex in Pittsburgh and Elrama, Pa., serve approximately 500,000 southwestern Pennsylvania residents and are capable of producing a total of 110 million gal per day.
The Hays Mine treatment complex was built in the late 1800s and straddles two municipalities: the Baldwin borough and the city of Pittsburgh. The plant’s outdated infrastructure above and below ground continued to operate through June 2010, when Pennsylvania American Water began the project to upgrade it and the other facilities in the area.
The utility made the $101-million investment to ensure that its drinking water continued to comply with the new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking water standards that took effect in 2012. These investments also improve public safety at both treatment plants by replacing gas chlorine with onsite liquid chlorine generation.
The Hays Mine and Aldrich plants both remained in service during construction. Their proximity to traffic, homes and businesses made the three-year demolition and construction process a challenge. Logistical concerns arose at the Hays Mine site—which is located in the middle of a residential neighborhood—during the transportation and replacement of 3,000 ft of new 42-in. pipe.
New clearwell tanks, as well as new chemical storage and feed facilities, were built and put into service at both facilities, improving the capacity and process in treating finished water.
Other improvements included replacement of aging infrastructure at the pumping station serving Hays Mine and Aldrich and replacement of the pipe serving those treatment plants, as well as a booster station in the Arlington section of Pittsburgh.
Despite the logistical concerns, several instances of inclement weather and a tight schedule, the project was completed in June 2013.
“We’re proud of how our team was able to manage three major construction sites while working closely with local officials to minimize the impact on customers in these heavily traveled residential and commercial areas,” said Kathy L. Pape, president of Pennsylvania American Water. “With the significant investment we made, we’ve renovated and upgraded a 100-year-old water treatment plant to provide reliable water service for generations to come, while complying with all EPA regulations and improving public safety.”