Excerpt from September 15th Public Source article by Oliver Morrison.
In June of 2020, Will Pickering took over as Executive Director of PWSA, inheriting a wide array of challenges to overcome as the authority strives to reach new and greater heights following a rocky past.
The most notable milestone achieved during Pickering’s brief tenure has undoubtedly been the reduction of non-EPA-compliant lead levels in PWSA’s drinking water. Although incredibly important to public health and a long time coming, Pickering views this milestone as a positive indicator that PWSA is on the right path forward.
The authority is still working to replace every lead line in our distribution system, so customers can rest assured that Pickering isn’t letting his foot off the gas on the lead issue even as he strives to tackle other important challenges facing PWSA.
One such upcoming challenge will be balancing the need for major, widereaching infrastructure improvements while working to keep PWSA’s rates affordable. The global COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the issue, forcing PWSA to delay certain projects in order to lessen the impact on ratepayers during these unprecedented times. Navigating this balancing act to keep customers happy and PWSA on the right path will be difficult, but these are the kind of challenges that Pickering was promoted to address.
Pickering’s eight years of experience at District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) provided him with valuable experience in managing relationships with dozens of neighborhood commissioners, the city council, and the mayor’s office.
Read the full article at publicsource.org/pwsa-water-bill-infastructure-upgrades-lead-crisis-new-leader.
“The only way to find a path forward is to build honest and trusting relationships even with people who may disagree with you. I think those are his strengths.” - George Hawkins, former CEO and general manager of DC Water