PWSA steps up lead water line replacement program in Pittsburgh |

PWSA steps up lead water line replacement program in Pittsburgh

Bob Bauder
A foreman for Collier-based Independent Enterprises replaces a lead service line at a Squirrel Hill home in 2018.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has replaced more than 1,300 lead water lines so far this year, including about 600 owned by city residents, officials announced on Tuesday.

PWSA is on track to replace a total of 8,100 lead lines, both private and public, by June 2020, spokesman Will Pickering said. He said about 10,000 lead lines owned by the authority remain in the city.

“We think were going to do another 3,100 private and another 3,700 public lines by 2020,” he said.

PWSA has struggled since 2016 to reduce lead levels in water that exceeded a federal threshold of 15 parts per billion.

The authority is addressing the problem by replacing all lead water lines in its service area, which includes about 300,000 people in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, and by adding lead inhibiting orthophosphate to water.

PWSA between 2016 and this year replaced about 4,084 lines, including 1,317 owned by residents. The authority is replacing the private lines at no cost to customers and, in many cases, can do that by pulling new lines through the ground without major excavation.

PWSA is paying for the work through $49 million in low-interest loans and grants from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority.

“With each lead line replaced, we’re renewing infrastructure and also protecting public health,” PWSA Executive Director Robert Weimar said in a statement.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.