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The wastewater treatment plant is now offering the Clean Water Assistance Fund to help pay the sewage treatment bills of low-income people living in any of the 83 municipalities the company services.

Photo: ALCOSAN mascot, Frankie the Fish, at the company’s annual open house in 2019. By Haley McMonagle

By Katia Faroun

For those struggling to pay their bills during the pandemic, Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, known as ALCOSAN, is offering assistance to low-income households with its Clean Water Assistance Fund.

The wastewater treatment plant has partnered with Dollar Energy Fund, Inc. to administer funds to low-income individuals and families residing in any of the 83 municipalities the company services. Those who qualify for the program will receive $34 credited to their sewage treatment bills every three months, whether they are billed monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly.

The grant, which reserves $1 million for eligible residents, was approved by ALCOSAN’s Board of Directors in 2016. The funds are credited to individuals’ accounts by the agency that bills them for their sewage treatment, such as Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority (PWSA) or Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint Water Authority. 

In order to qualify for assistance, individuals and households must meet certain monthly and yearly income guidelines set by the federal government, beginning at a monthly income of up to $1,595 or an annual income of up to $19,140 for households of one member. Applicants can view their eligibility on ALCOSAN’s website. 

Formed in 1946, ALCOSAN has operated from its 3300 Preble Ave. location in the Northside for the past 60 years. The company provides wastewater treatment to residential, commercial, and industrial customers throughout the Pittsburgh region, maintaining approximately 90 miles of interceptor sewers. Within its 83 municipalities, 900,000 individuals rely on the company’s services, including customers from McCandless down to Upper St. Clair neighborhoods. 

Households interested in applying for the Clean Water Assistance Fund can find applications at Dollar Energy agencies or can call Dollar Energy at 1-888-282-6816. ALCOSAN’s website also provides a list of agencies that households can call to make an appointment to apply for the fund. Applicants are required to provide a copy of their water or sewage treatment bill, proof of their monthly household income, and a social security number.

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