Borough of Avalon

640 California Ave.

Pittsburgh, PA  15202

P: 412-761-5820

F: 412-761-5953

Business Hours: 8:00am - 4:00pm




Fourth grade students at Avalon Elementary have had some special lessons this fall learning about MS4. Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System. All municipalities are required, under the Clean Water Act, to map their storm water conveyances to the national water ways of our country. Along with that mapping, there are maintenance schedules for cleaning, guidelines for testing storm water for pollutants, identifying those sources and correcting the problems.  Avalon Borough’s newly appointed MS4 Coordinator,  Lorraine Makatura, and Avalon Elementary School science teacher, Karen Klicker, found a perfect fit and combined their efforts to incorporate the MS4 permit requirements for public outreach and education with the already existing curriculum of water and the effects to the watersheds.  It is important for everyone to know that we are all responsible for eliminating pollution to our rivers and streams and to report when they see not only litter but chemicals of any kind making their way to the catch basins. When it reaches the catch basins …it reaches the river.


Students had  “show and tell" on Friday, October 28, when Shawn Baumgartner of Tri-State Maintenance, an industrial camera and vacuuming company, brought his camera system to the school for a live demonstration.  Students had an opportunity to tour the truck, sit in the camera operator’s seat, and watch the camera and truck operations. Kerry Patterson, Avalon Public Works Superintendent, described the process before lowering it in to the storm manhole. This all happened right outside the school cafeteria.  Mr. Patterson worked with Tri-State Maintenance before joining Avalon Borough, bringing many years of sewer knowledge to the Borough’s MS4 program.  As the camera progressed through the storm line, the students were able to see what the camera sees on the video screens, consult the  map showing the direction of the pipe and where it reaches the creek on New Brighton Road.  This camera process helps evaluate the lines and determine where repairs might be needed. Those repairs could be through lining the pipes or  replacing sections. Avalon Borough has completed the mapping stage and is now in the cleaning, maintenance and testing phases of the MS4 permit.


Mr. Mark Scally of Chester Engineering, Avalon  Borough’s engineer, visited the classroom to share his knowledge of storm water and flooding, relating his experiences when his job assigned him to New Orleans after Katrina.  He showed the students how computer modeling is used to evaluate flood prone areas and how those models offer alternative methods to change those areas from future flooding. 


To complete their studies, the students prepared various projects to demonstrate what they have learned about storm water and how everyone is responsible for keeping America’s water clean.  Projects were proudly presented at a Celebration of Learning event held at Avalon Elementary on Thursday evening, December 1, 2016, to family, friends and the community.
Continue to scroll through the sections to see the student projects........

Avalon Elementary
4th Grade Science

OCTOBER 28, 2016

DECEMBER 1, 2016
STUDENT VIDEOS:                                              


         Properties of Water                       Eat'n Park
         Water Cycle                                    QAMS4
         Water Race                                     Catch Basin Comics
         Stream Systems                              Professor & Student
         Stream Model                                  Discharge Detective
         Silt & Sediment                                Now Hear This
         Rain Garden                                      Alphabet Soup
         MS4                                                  Wheel of water
         Can You Find ...?
Thank you to everyone that made our first Mysterious MS4 program a success -  Mrs. Karen Klicker for matching my enthusiasm and working with me to bring the information to her classroom, Northgate School District, Avalon Elementary and Mr. Joe Peacock for agreeing and helping with the program, Mr. Mark Scally, our Engineer for taking the time to not only present to the class but also attend the presentation of the projects, Mr. Kerry Patterson for teaching me what he knows abaout sewers and sharing that knowledge with the students,  Mr. Shawn Baumgartner for taking time out of his busy schedule to bring his camera equipment to the school for a demonstration, and most of all ... Thank you Students! You made me very proud!  Your projects, games, skits and videos were creative, well planned and wonderfully displayed!  I also want to thank your parents and family for being supportive of you and this program. This program was a success because of all of you - Thank You!      Sincerely, Lorraine Makatura, Avalon Borough,  MS4 Coordinator.