ALLEGHENY COUNTY (KDKA) — Officials approved a plan for the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority to reduce the flow of sewage into local rivers.

Federal officials approved the $2 billion plan after they ordered ALCOSAN and other sewage authorities to stop the sewage overflows.

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In order to pay for it, ALCOSAN has ordered a series of annual rate increases.

The project will overhaul the company’s water system.

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“It’s the cost of civilization,” David Chapel of Fox Chapel said. “It’s the cost of roads, having water in your house. The ability to have sanitary facilities in your house.”

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Raw sewage flowing into Pittsburgh’s rivers is a big problem.

Every year, the sewers discharge a mixture of at least 9 billion gallons of untreated sewage and stormwater into the Allegheny, Ohio and Monongahela Rivers.

“We don’t just protect water quality for the heck of it,” said Arletta Scott Williams, the executive director at ALSOSAN. “We are protecting public health.”

ALCOSAN’s new plan features using rain gardens to prevent extra water from entering the sewer system; increasing conveyance systems by adding pipes and tunnels; regionalizing sewers and adding more than 200 miles of sewer infrastructure, and expanding the water plant.

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The average monthly bill will be nearly 43$ now.