Our staff is hard at work in the winter months responding to multiple water main breaks, frozen service lines, and higher volume of customer requests. We appreciate the time people take to thank them for all the hard work they put in to take care of every request quickly!
A customer reached out to praise Water Repair Foreman John Leckie, Senior Manager of Field Operations Luke Erny, and their crews finding and fixing a leak that was both tough to locate and posed a risk to electrical equipment in the basement of their property. They wrote that “the crew was on site within an hour and they corrected the issue shortly after” the leak was located. Thanks for your persistence, guys!
Lead Contractor Kudos
Our lead service line replacement contractors are continuing to Get Stuff Done despite wintry conditions. A customer in the Perry South neighborhood, left us a voicemail to extend their gratitude to the crews for their professionalism as they replaced his lead service line. We’d like to thank them for all their hard work as they continue to help us make strides toward a lead-free Pittsburgh.
Two customers wrote us a letter to recognize Chief of Operations Rick Obermeier; Utility Workers Derek Forrester, Brad Monjack, Damon Gray, and Chris Huber; Heavy Equipment Operator Delron Higgins; Truck Drivers Richie Mason and Joe Mercer; and Sewer Plumbing Foreman Chris Sciulli for assistance in the work to separate their water line so both of their units would have a direct connection to our water main. They said that these employees were “pleasant, professional, and worked together like a ‘well-oiled machine.’”
Customer Service Success
Our Customer Service Department works tirelessly to address each issue they receive from any customer across our vast service area. An appreciative customer from Brighton Heights expressed satisfaction with the service she received every step of the way until a leak on her curb box was resolved. The process started with Senior Customer Service Manager Sharon Gottschalk, who got the ball rolling and reported the complaint to our Operations Department. Following the report, Senior Managers of Field Operations Joe Tewell and Luke Erny, and Utility Worker Chris Huber, were able to resolve the issue. Thanks for your hard work!
We have a team of dedicated experts who make up our Lead Help Desk. At the end of 2019, a customer residing in Morningside called us to thank Lead Help Desk Customer Assistance Dominique Nunley, Tasha Butler, and Donna Martrano for being “very respectful, pleasant, helpful, and courteous” during the process that led to the replacement of her lead water service line. They answered all her questions and went above and beyond as professionals.
On a daily basis, our network of approximately 25,000 storm drains need to be monitored, cleaned, and replaced. We often work with the City of Pittsburgh’s 311 Response Center to resolve issues. 311 representatives reached out to thank Stormwater Superintendent Eric Taper and Dispatcher Mark Madero for “not skipping a beat as far as getting requests completed” and expressed gratitude to have such a productive working relationship with us. We are equally lucky to have such great partners at the City!
Quick Water Main Correction
A City Council staffer reached out to us to thank Water Repair Foreman Chris Bruecken; Utility Workers Melissa Bizub, Jon Zelina, and Wayne Blumling; Engineering Tech II Jason Gehringer; Truck Drivers Tim Rochford and Tim Whealdon; and Plumber Dustin Saltzman for their great work repairing a water main break on Edgemont Street in Mount Washington. Thanks for braving the cold to Get Stuff Done, folks!
Our crews repaired a leak that was affecting the water service of businesses on Butler Street in Lawrenceville. Following a successful repair, a business operations manager in the area reached out to us to praise Senior Manager of Field Operations Luke Erny and Leak Detection Specialist Debra Hearn for their help in restoring water service to their facility. We greatly appreciate your hard work!
Japanese Delegation Visits PWSA
Representatives from the Tokyo Metropolitan Sewer District met with Executive Director Weimar to talk about the challenges and opportunities facing publicly owned utilities.
In late 2019, representatives from the Tokyo Metropolitan Sewer District and researchers from the Japanese think tank Mizuho traveled to Pittsburgh to meet with PWSA Executive Director Robert A. Weimar to learn about PWSA’s efforts to address industry-wide challenges such as aging infrastructure and the increased stress placed on sewer systems by extreme weather resulting from climate change.
Like Pittsburgh, Tokyo has an older sewer system in a dense urban area that requires significant investment. Tokyo has also been experiencing larger and increasingly frequent storm events. At PWSA, we are working to address the same challenges. Executive Director Weimar and the Tokyo delegation discussed PWSA’s efforts to prioritize, plan, and perform major sewer and stormwater projects, and shared lessons learned and best practices from our respective programs.