On October 21, we participated in the seventh annual Imagine a Day Without Water, a nationwide day of education and advocacy led by the Value of Water Campaign. We are proud to be one of over 1,200 organizations across the country that raises awareness about the role of water infrastructure in our lives and the importance of investment. The focus of this year’s event was to invite people to learn more about where our water comes from and where our wastewater goes.
As part of the event, we partnered with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy to host an essay and drawing contest encouraging youth to imagine what a world without water would be like for a day. The response was heartfelt with children and adolescents recognizing the value of reducing water use where they can and how parts of the world do not have access to clean, treated water.
We are fortunate to live in a region where water is plentiful, allowing the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority to have a reliable and high-quality supply of water to provide to our customers. The Allegheny River as the source of our drinking water provides a constant supply; however, it is time to make the necessary reinvestment in our drinking water system to provide customers with dependable water services for years to come.
Over the next five years, we will invest nearly $300 million in our Water Reliability Plan, a series of large-scale water improvement projects that will strengthen our water system, add redundancy, and provide an uninterrupted supply of safe, quality water.
We will also continue our aggressive efforts to remove all lead service lines from our system and rehabilitate our network of sewer mains, some of which are over 100 years old. To further reduce the burden of water on our sewers and neighborhoods, we are executing a series of innovative stormwater management projects and developing a Stormwater Strategic Plan that will serve as Pittsburgh’s blueprint to address local stormwater challenges.
With the passage of the federal infrastructure bill, we recognize how this funding, primarily available to municipalities and publicly owned utilities, could alleviate the financial burden on our ratepayers and help to offset the cost of the investment we must make over the next several years. We expect this infusion of federal funding to advance our infrastructure investment and prioritize the families, workers, and businesses that rely on our services each day.
Being tasked with the stewardship of water within our vast service area is something that we are immensely grateful for. We encourage you to follow us on Twitter @pgh2o, Facebook, or visit our website to keep up with us as we continue to evolve into a 21st century water service provider that all Pittsburghers can be proud of.