Water Reliability Plan graphic

In 2021, we announced the Water Reliability Plan, a series of once-in-a-generation projects that will renew key components of our water production and distribution system. To date, we’ve made significant progress towards our end goal of finalizing this massive, multiyear effort to add decades of useful life to our most critical water infrastructure, including the completion of the following two projects within the past year. 

Our recently completed Highland II Reservoir Liner and Cover Replacement project, the largest of its kind in North America in 2022, will ensure the long-term reliability and security of this critical reservoir, which supplies water to portions of Squirrel Hill, Downtown, South Side, and West End.  

As part of the project, PWSA drained the century-old reservoir, removed previous materials, and installed a new liner, floating cover, and supplemental equipment, like rainwater removal pumps. We estimate that this significant undertaking has extended the useful life of the reservoir by an additional 25 years and will act as an important redundancy as other Water Reliability Plan projects move forward.   

Our Rising Main 3 Rehabilitation project involved the revitalization of this large diameter pipe that moves water uphill from our Bruecken Pump Station into the Highland Park Reservoir system. The project also includes a second phase to rehabilitate Rising Main 4, which serves a similar purpose to Rising Main 3, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. 

In total, we will invest nearly $470 million into our Water Reliability Plan over many years, and we commit to continue the successful pursuit of federal and state funding to maximize ratepayer savings. Last summer, PWSA was awarded $209 million in low-interest loans from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) for Water Reliability Plan projects. This award will result in approximately $156 million in ratepayer savings when compared to traditional municipal bond financing.