Crews replace lead service lines as part of our Community Lead Response

2022 was yet another banner year for PWSA when it comes to environmental stewardship and our role to protect public health.  

Since 2020, lead levels have remained well below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) lead action level of 15 ppb. This consistency in the quality of our drinking water has been made possible, in part, by improved water treatment methods and our commitment to remove all lead from our water distribution by 2026. 

In its sixth year of existence in 2022, our Community Lead Response executed a variety of targeted lead removal programs. In addition to water main replacement programs, focusing on areas with a high concentration of lead service lines, we launched the Priority Lead Line Replacement Program, a unique effort to replace lead service lines at all daycare facilities and any homes that submitted a lead test kit with elevated results. With help from a $4.7 million PENNVEST funding package, we replaced 19 lead service lines at daycare facilities and 306 lead service lines at homes with elevated lead test kit results. Due to this hard work, we can confidently say that all daycare facilities within PWSA’s service area are now free of lead service lines. 

In total, we replaced 7.6 miles of lead pipe across all our lead removal program areas. As we continue this endeavor, PWSA is grateful for the continued recognition and support from local, state, and federal officials, including those representing the Biden Administration. In June of 2022, Vice President Harris visited Pittsburgh and declared that our Community Lead Response is a model for communities nationwide to follow when it comes to the removal of dangerous lead service lines. 

As stewards of an essential public resource, PWSA operates with the strict requirements of the law and with high ethical and professional standards. Our Environmental Compliance group, now made up of six compliance professionals from a variety of backgrounds – like food and steel manufacturing, biology, water distribution, and government – are led by Frank Sidari, Chief Environmental Compliance & Ethics Officer, and Kumar Navile, Environmental Compliance Program Manager. Along with the rest of the group, they oversee risk assessments, internal environmental compliance audits, and coordinate oversight with PWSA’s corporate and independent monitors. This renewed focus on environmental compliance and ethics remains at the forefront of the decisions we make as steadfast stewards of the vital water services our region relies on each day.