MILLVALE BOROUGH, PA - During a period of extremely heavy snowfall and rains in March of 1994, occupants of Millvale Borough complained of feeling movement in their homes.
Inspection showed evidence that earth movement had occurred over many years. Signs of recent earth movement in a grassy area behind one of the homes resulted in an evacuation order. Eventually, this earth movement resulted in a broken sanitary sewer line that polluted the groundwater.
The following month, additional earth movement occurred again, causing severe undermining of tree root systems in the area. It was obvious that the condition was worsening. Residents of three more properties were advised to evacuate.
The Borough of Millvale decided to acquire 12 properties, three of which had been demolished during the disaster. After purchase, the remaining nine building were demolished; all fill and failure materials were then removed from the site. Finally the slope was stabilized, and ground cover added to prevent a reoccurrence.
The stabilization of the slope will protect residents of the surrounding area from further erosion damage. Capping the sanitary sewer line prevents sewerage from seeping into the ground water. The cost of utilizing emergency personnel for evacuation and rescue is avoided, as well as the disruption to the lives of residents in this community.