ALCOSAN's Seasonal Alerts Begin May 1 (4/29/16)
ALCOSAN’S SEASONAL ALERTS BEGIN SUNDAY, MAY 1
Be sure the river water is safe before getting wet
April 29, 2016 – The region’s three rivers provide ample opportunities for fun, and ALCOSAN’s
advisory program that goes into effect on Sunday, May 1, is designed to keep outdoor enthusiasts
ALCOSAN issues warnings to the public if the sewer system becomes overloaded because the risk of
untreated stormwater and sewage getting into rivers and streams increases under those conditions.
The Sewer Overflow Advisory Key – SOAK – notifies people when they should limit direct contact with
river water. While these programs do not prohibit or discourage recreational river activities, they
do caution users because overflows can be a source of bacteria, which may be harmful if swallowed
or exposed to an open wound.
That’s why it’s important for people who use the rivers – boaters, water skiers, swimmers,
kayakers, rowers and those who fish – to check the conditions. There are four ways to do so.
• Register with ALCOSAN to receive advisories by email or text message at
ault.aspx. The notices arrive between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily when overflows occur, when overflows
end but the rivers may still be impaired, and when the rivers are back to normal. Messaging rates
• Check ALCOSAN’s website, www.ALCOSAN.org. SOAK notifications are displayed indicating whether
advisories are in effect or not.
• Call the Overflow Hotline at 412-734-6249 to hear a recording with the current status.
• Look for orange flags bearing the letters CSO, indicating a Combined Sewer Overflow, at the
following locations: On the Allegheny River at Silky’s Crows Nest and Marina, the Fox Chapel Yacht
Club, Washington’s Landing Marina and the Three Rivers Rowing Club; on the Monongahela River at the
South Side and Braddock boat ramps; and on the RiverQuest ship in the Ohio River. These flags
remain raised until 48 hours after the overflows have ended.
The warning system remains in effect from May 1 through October 31.
ALCOSAN is one of the region’s premier environmental and public health organizations, treating
wastewater for 83 Allegheny County communities, including the City of Pittsburgh. The authority,
which is Green by Mission and Green by Choice, enhances the community’s quality of life and safety
by working to protect drinking water, rivers and streams, and making the Pittsburgh region a great
place to live, work and play. ALCOSAN’s 59-acre treatment plant processes up to 250 million gallons of wastewater daily and is one of the largest such
facilities in the Ohio River Valley.