Happy 2023, Pittsburgh!
Each day in 2022, PWSA produced an average of 65 million gallons of water for the approximately 500,000 people we serve in the region. That’s enough to fill about 812,000 bathtubs per day.
Getting that water from the Allegheny to our treatment plant and to our customers is no small order, but one that’s essential to maintain and further improve water quality and protect public health in our region. With that, I’d like to recap some 2022 achievements around those twin pillars of protecting public health and improving water quality.
Our July 2022 round of lead testing shows lead levels well below the state and federal action level of 15 parts per billion, our fourth consecutive round of testing where lead levels are in compliance. Since 2016, we’ve replaced more than 9,800 public lead service lines. We also began adding orthophosphate – a food-grade additive that creates an anti-corrosive barrier between the lead pipes and the water flowing through them – to reduce lead levels.
Speaking of water quality testing, we performed about 2,500 routine tests per month at our treatment plants and about 1,500 routine tests per month at various points of the distribution system. These tests monitor interconnected components of our water distribution system to ensure our water is meeting all regulatory standards.
Our Operations group met our annual regulatory performance commitment to inspect and flush a third of our fire hydrants months ahead of schedule. This is important to ensuring proper flow and pressure is available in our distribution system and helps to remove sediment to maintain water quality. Operations also exercised more than 5,000 valves across our service area.
We have a lot of optimism in what the next few years holds for PWSA and our community. If you see any of our crews in your neighborhood performing this essential work, please be sure to say hello or ask them more about the work they’re doing. After all, we’re here to serve you.