Pittsburgh’s water system was built at the turn of the 20th century. These early engineers developed a system that made the best possible use of our natural water resources and topography to effectively distribute drinking water from the Allegheny River to Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods.
As the city grew in population and size, engineers constructed additional reservoirs and pumping stations. Our early water treatment and distribution system, still used today, uses a combination of pumps to carry water from the Aspinwall Treatment Plant along the Allegheny River to reservoirs located at higher elevations and gravity to continue its distribution.
Our water treatment and distribution facilities have provided residents with a consistent supply of water used for drinking, bathing, cleaning, personal hygiene, and recreation. The system has served Pittsburgh well, but we now must renew these facilities for future generations of Pittsburgh residents.
The Water Reliability Plan is Pittsburgh’s blueprint for high quality infrastructure - these projects will strengthen our water system, add redundancy, and provide an uninterrupted supply of safe, quality water. Over the next several years, we will construct the following high-profile projects.
- Building a new pump station and large distribution pipes in Highland Park
- Replacing the liner and cover of the Highland II Reservoir
- Rehabilitating the century- old Aspinwall and Bruecken Pump Stations
- Reconstructing large distribution pipes that supply treated water to our reservoirs
- Upgrading electrical power and backup systems at the Aspinwall Water Treatment Plant
The culmination of this work will be the complete restoration of the Clearwell, a large, century-old water storage facility that is critical to the operations of PWSA’s entire system and currently operates without redundancy or backups in place.
Much like how our current system was built with a vision for future generations, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is rebuilding our system with the next generation in mind. As the Pittsburgh economy grows, we will be prepared to meet the demands as more residents invest in their homes, and businesses choose to locate and grow within the city. The investments in our water and sewer infrastructure will ensure that our customers are provided with clean, high quality, reliable water services for years to come.
For more information about the Water Reliability Plan, please visit pgh2o.com/water, and for more information about the talented team behind the plan, please read this month’s Employee Spotlight on page 6.