THE PITTSBURGH WATER AND SEWER AUTHORITY (PWSA) IS ENTERING A NEW ERA – one with a renewed emphasis on public health, the environment, and our responsibility as steadfast stewards of the vital water services our region relies on each day.
There are many exciting projects underway at PWSA that directly support this evolution. While our work as public servants is never done, I’m confident the strategic priorities we’ve been undertaking will further transform our water system while rebuilding trust with the public we serve.
This past year, we further strengthened our focus on environmental compliance and ethics. As a public water utility, the services we provide directly affect the health and well-being of those we serve. To protect water services and the environment for current and future generations of Pittsburghers, we enhanced our Environmental Compliance Program and put in place enhanced ethics training for all employees.
Also in 2021, we received approval from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to enact a new stormwater fee. This fee, a notable first for Pittsburgh, builds greater equity into our rate structure, ensuring all property owners contribute a share that is proportional to the amount of runoff generated by their property. This new fee also provides resources to construct critical stormwater infrastructure. As a publicly owned and managed utility, every dollar we receive from ratepayers is reinvested back into our infrastructure.
With any rate increase, we must consider affordability and provide our most vulnerable customers with the assistance they need. That’s why we’ve redoubled – and will continue to expand on – our Customer Assistance Program efforts. This includes the 2021 establishment of PGH2O Cares, a group of education and outreach professionals dedicated to working directly with the public to bolster enrollment in our assistance programs.
The above-mentioned key achievements reflect only a small portion of last year’s accomplishments. The following full YEAR IN REVIEW highlights much more of the work we’re undertaking to support our transformation into a trusted community utility partner.
In KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS, we further explain some priority programs and highlight additional efforts we’re leading. From water main and lead service line replacements to sewer rehabilitation and more, the work we’re performing shows our commitment to supporting our region through the delivery of safe and reliable water services.
We also summarize our FINANCIAL HEALTH, describing our current financial standing and projection for the coming years. Additionally, we highlight our success in securing state and federal funding to support our infrastructure investment.
We include PERFORMANCE METRICS that provide information about our daily operational performance. From the quantity and quality of our customer service calls, to the miles of pipes, catch basins, and hydrants we replace, our PWSA teams are going above and beyond to deliver the water services you expect.
Lastly, we highlight pertinent water, sewer, and stormwater CAPITAL INVESTMENT accomplishments. These critical projects highlight efforts to improve our infrastructure and manage stormwater in our neighborhoods.
We here at PWSA are proud to share our 2021 accomplishments and give you a preview for what to expect in the future. By making this information available, we continue to become a more transparent organization determined to rebuild public trust with everyone who depends on us for safe and reliable water. We know that takes time, but we’re committed to this work, and will undertake every effort to ensure it becomes a reality.
William J. Pickering
Chief Executive Officer