The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is increasing its spending on critical water infrastructure improvements. Despite construction delays due to the pandemic, our total capital investment in 2020 totaled approximately $127 million, an increase from 2019 and our largest annual investment. The investment will continue as we renew large water infrastructure and rehabilitate our network of water and sewer pipes that carry water to and from homes and businesses.
This investment reﬂects the work outlined in our 2021-2025 Capital Improvement Plan. Budgeted at $1.2 billion, the Capital Improvement Plan is a strategic document that guides the improvements we are making to Pittsburgh’s water, sewer, and stormwater infrastructure.
Over the next several years, we will complete the PWSA Water Reliability Plan, Pittsburgh’s blueprint for high-quality infrastructure. This series of projects will renew key components of our water production and distribution systems, combined with the complete restoration of the Clearwell, a large, century-old water storage facility. Together, these projects will strengthen our water system, add needed redundancy, and ensure an uninterrupted supply of quality water.
Additionally, we are replacing water mains to improve reliability, improve water pressure, maintain water quality, and minimize disturbances caused by breaks. We will continue to replace lead lines as we replace water mains.
The Capital Improvement Plan also brings attention to our sewer system and stormwater infrastructure. We are rehabilitating aging sewers and making improvements to prolong their life. Construction will also begin on several stormwater improvement projects. Those budgeted for construction in 2021 include the second phase of Wightman Park in Squirrel Hill, Maryland Avenue in Shadyside, Thomas and McPherson in North Point Breeze, and Lawn and Ophelia in Oakland.
As more construction activity takes place within our service area, it is important to recognize this is a positive step for Pittsburgh’s water future that will lead to a more secure, reliable water system with fewer service disruptions and higher quality water.