CARRICK (KDKA) — From a Carrick hillside, water is cascading down towards Jeff Held’s home.
It has been flowing over a retaining wall for so long a heavy coat of green moss has formed.
“It runs steady, doesn’t stop,” Held said.
The impromptu creek started flowing into his yard near the end of last winter and got so bad at one point last summer, Held says it had about two feet of water in the yard.
“It was like a pond,” he said.
Held dug a trench to divert the water away from his home. But with a flow estimated at well over 1,000 gallons a day, the foundation has proven no match for the flow.
“It’s causing the foundation to shift, causing the small cracks and flaws in the foundation to get bigger and water is just pouring in he says,” he says.
At one point, the Allegheny County Health Department took a look and recommended Held get the water tested. He did just that and he was told the result was “consistent with municipal water.” So he called Penn American Water.
“They’re saying it’s not their water, it’s not their leak,” Held said.
There is also a major storm sewer that runs through the property, so Pittsburgh Operations Chief Guy Costa came out to take a look.
“That’s a lot of water. It could be a water line or a water leak somewhere that no one is aware of,” Costa said.
Costa went on to point out the white appearing in the ditch could be an indicator of lime coming out of an old mine.
“Still, this is a lot of water to be mine water, so we’ll test it and work with Pennsylvania American and PWSA to get this problem resolved,” Costa said.
PWSA came to the home and took the promised water sample. Pennsylvania Water says it has tested the water twice before and they believe it to be sewer water.
PWSA’s test came back showing a combination of tap water and mine run-off. Costa says that would be consistent with a broken water main flowing underground into an old mine. Once the mine is filled to its runoff point, the flow coming out would be equal to the pressure in the water main.
Because the city is currently dealing with an identical problem in the Herron Hill section of the Upper Hill District, it has contacted the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to get involved in the investigation of both problems.
Held simply wants his property to be dry again.
“Divert the water back to a dry condition like it was before,” he said.