2020 WAS A REMARKABLE YEAR. The novel coronavirus reminded us time and again of the essential nature of water. From washing your hands, cleaning your home, and preparing meals to ﬁghting ﬁres, keeping health care workers safe, and treating those who are sick, water is our ﬁrst line of defense. Essential water services and workers can no longer be taken for granted. Everyone learned this past year how critical water is to surviving and thriving.
The pandemic forced the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) to quickly adapt to a new reality while delivering the necessary water services our customers rely on. Our top priority was the health and safety of our workforce and our customers.
With these realities in mind, our board voted unanimously to suspend water shutoffs and we waived many of the requirements to enroll in customer assistance programs. Regardless of ability to pay, customers were protected with access to necessary water services.
We also put in place new protocols to keep our employees safe. We instituted a mandatory work from home policy and established health screenings for employees and contractors working in the ﬁeld and at our treatment facilities. Because of these decisive actions, our workers stayed safe while continuing to provide essential water services to Pittsburgh residents and businesses.
Despite the challenges 2020 presented, we achieved several milestones throughout the year that demonstrate how PWSA is evolving as an organization.
This report highlights how that is occurring. In Notable Accomplishments, we discuss our prioritized program areas. From reducing lead levels, expanding our customer assistance programs, and implementing the largest capital program in PWSA’s history, these achievements show that we are taking the necessary steps to protect water services for current and future generations of Pittsburgh.
We summarize our Financial Health describing our current ﬁnancial standing, projections for coming years, and highlight our success in securing state and federal funding to support our infrastructure investment. Our current bond ratings and the completion of two bond transactions provide the credibility and the resources to implement our $1.2 billion capital program over the next ﬁve years.
We include Performance Metrics that provide information about our daily performance. From the quality and quantity of customer service calls to the miles of pipes, catch basins, and hydrants we replace, you will see the steps we are taking to improve performance and deliver on our commitments to you. Additionally, we highlight pertinent water, sewer, and stormwater Project Accomplishments. These illustrate the work we are doing in the community to replace water mains, improve our infrastructure, rehabilitate sewer pipes, and protect neighborhoods from increasing amounts of rain.
We are proud to share our accomplishments and information about our progress in this annual report. By making this information available, we are continuing to become a more transparent organization that is determined to rebuild public trust and improve the relationship with our customers. We appreciate your support and patience over the years, and I encourage you to contact me with any questions you may have about this report or the organization.
William J. Pickering
PWSA, Chief Executive Officer