Pittsburgh, PA – Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued an Administrative Order to the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) to expedite three critical water system improvement projects. All three projects are budgeted, identified by PWSA as priority capital projects, and are planned for design and construction.
"We welcome this order, which continues our work with the EPA and DEP to fully and transparently tackle the challenges facing our water system, and make the long-term investments the system has needed for years. Working together we're doing all we can to make sure our residents are getting the clean and safe water they deserve," Mayor William Peduto said.
The Order was in response to several collaborative engagements between PWSA and officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and DEP as part of their comprehensive performance evaluation conducted in September 2017. The three major projects identified in the DEP Order are:
- Rehabilitation of the Lanpher reservoir. This project will include the construction of a new liner and cover for the 133 million gallon treated drinking water reservoir. PWSA began work on the liner and cover replacement projects on September 19, 2017.
- Upgrading the microfiltration water treatment plant at Highland Reservoir #1 to include ultraviolet (UV) disinfection, or covering the open water reservoir in Highland Park. PWSA plans to pursue adding a UV treatment system due to the length of time it would take to cover the reservoir. Highland Park Reservoir #1 has been offline since February 2017 due to DEP concerns regarding the microfiltration plant’s regulatory compliance with drinking water regulations
- Improvements to the Bruecken Pump Station standby power and new pumping equipment. The Bruecken Pump Station distributes treated drinking water from PWSA’s Aspinwall Water Treatment Plant to eastern and southern areas of PWSA’s service area in the City of Pittsburgh. These improvements are to ensure adequate water supply and redundancy in instances of power loss or pump failure.
In addition, the Administrative Order requires PWSA submit a detailed long-term capital improvement program to DEP, and install water pressure sensors in locations that identified to experience low pressure.
PWSA Interim Executive Director Robert A. Weimar said, “PWSA is committed to completing these three projects as soon as humanly possible. This Order further endorses our existing system improvement program.”
“We appreciate EPA and DEP’s work to ensure safe drinking water for our residents, and look forward to working with them collaboratively to expedite these critical projects. By working together, we can restore PWSA to the water utility that Pittsburgh expects and deserves,” said PWSA Board Chairperson Debbie Lestitian.
PWSA will keep the public informed about the progress of these projects in its monthly newsletter, media releases, and social media engagement.
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is the largest combined water, sewer and stormwater authority in Pennsylvania, serving 300,000 consumers throughout the City of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.