Customers don’t need to worry about whether they will be able to drink their tap water or adhere to CDC guidelines concerning hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19, and other viruses, are killed by the disinfection process that is already a part of PWSA’s daily treatment process. Customers can continue to use their tap water for drinking, cooking, and personal hygiene activities.
At our Aspinwall Water Treatment Plant, operators and stationary engineers are working around the clock to monitor the production of water. This includes making sure we have enough chemicals to treat the water and maintaining lab testing all while practicing social distancing and having non-essential employees work from home. Water Production Administrator Diana Szuch said, “We’ve been in close contact with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental (DEP) and Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) in order to maintain the highest quality water.” Diana added that, “We’re working on a rotating skilled trades crew and only working on the highest priority projects. Also, our laborers are making sure to wipe the building down daily to disinfect all the common areas. Lastly, the lab is running all required samples to ensure public safety.”
Our operations team continues to work in tandem with our 24/7 dispatchers to ensure that water and sewer issues like water main breaks or leaking service lines are addressed. To keep our workers safe, we have enhanced training for field personnel to ensure proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), have begun to disinfect all works sites using a hospital grade electrostatic disinfection process, and have provided disinfection kits for all PWSA vehicles to ensure each vehicle is cleaned at the end of each shift. Also, according to Director of Operations William “BJ” McFaddin, “Where possible, we have reduced our workforce to emergency personnel only, and currently have approximately half of said employees working while the other half is off for a week staying isolated, on a rotating basis.”
We’d also like to remind our customers to contact our 24/7 dispatch line, at 412-255-2423 (press 1), for water and sewer emergencies. Customers can also visit pgh2o.com/serviceoutages for the latest on water service outages that may affect them.
For more information on PWSA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit pgh2o.com/COVID-19.