Delivering Safe, Reliable Drinking Water

Over the next few years the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority will be in Highland Park making improvements to our water infrastructure. 

Securing our drinking water

Photo of the uncovered Highland I Reservoir in Highland Park

To maintain the open Highland I Reservoir as a public amenity, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is constructing several projects to meet stricter state water quality regulations and security improvements. 

These projects include:

  • Ultraviolet Disinfection at the Membrane Filtration Plant (MFP) on Reservoir Drive
  • Installation of security cameras to provide a 360-degree view of the reservoir and surrounding walkway
  • Renovating the former chlorination building into the new security monitoring faciliyt and guard station
  • Restoration of the parapet wall around the Highland I Reservoir to secure its perimeter and provide additional security enhancements

Restoring the parapet wall

All of the projects with the exception of the parapet wall are currently underway and will be complete by the end of August 2019. The restoration work will begin later this month and will continue through April 2020. During construction, the public will not have access to the walkway around the reservoir. We are closing it to expedite the work and maintain public safety while construction is taking place. 

Highland Park Orthophosphate Project

Rendering of the orthophosphate building in Highland Park

In April 2019, we completed construction of two small buildings in the vicinity of the Highland Park Membrane Filtration Plant along Reservoir Drive. These buildings store and distribute orthophosphate to our drinking water. Orthophosphate is a food-grade additive to reduce lead levels in water. When water with orthophosphate runs through the system, it creates a coating on the inside of lead service lines and establishes a barrier between the lead pipes and the water we drink. 

FAQOrthophosphate What You Need to Know

Press ReleasePWSA Takes Important Step to Improve Water Safety

Modernizing our water infrastructure

The final group of projects will modernize our water infrastructure and add redundancy and resiliency throughout our drinking water system. These projects include:

  • Redeveloping the pump station located in Highland Park near Mellon Terrace.  
  • Installing a 48-inch new rising main to connect the new pump station to the Highland I Reservoir.
  • Replacing the original affluent main that carries water from the Highland II Reservoir to the pump station.

These projects are currently in their design phase. We are coordinating with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, the Port Authority of Allegheny County, the City of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Zoo, the Highland Park Community Council and Highland Park Community Development Corporation. 

Community members will have opportunities to share ideas and provide input into the design of these projects. PWSA will announce community meetings throughout the design process.  Please download the project sheet for more information.