Our team of public servants and water professionals remains committed to rebuilding trust with those we serve and modeling transparency in our daily work. In 2022, we held a robust, service-area-wide customer satisfaction survey to shed light on those critical areas, gaining a better perspective into what customers expect from a trusted community utility like PWSA.
Respondents were nearly unanimous in their conclusion that PWSA should be communicative and transparent about drinking water quality, our role protecting public health, and our responsibility to plan for future improvements in the water system. In addition, approximately 80% of respondents signaled their support for PWSA using ratepayer dollars to invest funds to maintain, improve, and modernize water infrastructure.
In 2022, we made great strides in those areas. Award-winning, nationally recognized initiatives like our Community Lead Response have moved the needle on getting the lead out of our drinking water system, with PWSA recently replacing our 10,000th lead service line. In fact, since 2020, we’ve recorded some of the lowest lead levels in our history.
In 2022, we passed several key milestones in our slate of Water Reliability Plan projects, including the replacement of our Highland II Reservoir liner and cover — a massive undertaking, but one that showcases our commitment to maintaining and improving our essential water distribution system now and into the future.
We continued to provide contracting opportunities for diverse businesses through our Supplier Diversity Program, which encourages minority, women, veteran, and service-disabled veteran (MWDBE) businesses to contract with PWSA. In 2022, we conducted business with 68 of those firms, resulting in 21% of our Board-approved contracts being paid to MWDBEs, bolstering the economic vitality of our business community and region.
As a publicly owned and operated utility, every dollar we receive from ratepayers is reinvested back into our system, meaning none of our achievements could be realized without the responsible investment of ratepayer dollars. To complement that crucial funding, PWSA continues to maximize ratepayer savings through the successful pursuit of state and federal funding.
Team PGH2O is proud to share our 2022 accomplishments with everyone. Please visit our 2022 Year in Review website for a comprehensive overview of our work and ongoing transformation. We’re confident of the path we’re on and are committed to continuous growth so we can best serve the communities that rely on us each day for safe and reliable water services.