Pittsburgh, PA – Today, the Board of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) extended the moratorium on water shutoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic to July 1. PWSA had previously paused all shutoffs through May 31. The Board also waived two additional requirements for customers seeking financial assistance on bills through the end of 2020.
“We recognize that access to clean water for sanitation and proper hygiene plays a critical role in keeping our community safe and healthy. The Board’s actions today make it clear that we will not discontinue water service during this extended period of uncertainty and economic hardship,” said PWSA Board Chair Paul Leger.
Previously, PWSA’s monthly Bill Discount Program required participants to recertify their income with Dollar Energy Fund every twelve months. Additionally, the Board lifted the requirement that residential customers make a sincere effort payment of $150 and $75 for senior citizens before they can access cash assistance grants. The Board waived both of those requirements through the end of 2020.
“We’re continuing to offer ways to ease the burden on our low-income customers during the pandemic. Administrative changes like waiving recertification and eliminating sincere effort payments will help our customers cope in these trying times,” said PWSA Director of Administration Julie Quigley.
PWSA encourages customers to contact Dollar Energy Fund to see if their current financial status would make them eligible for discount and assistance programs. They can be reached at 866-762-2348 and more information can be found on our Customer Assistance Programs page.
Drinking water treatment protocols that PWSA uses includes filtration and disinfection procedures that are effective in removing viruses. Pittsburghers can be assured that their water is safe to drink and to use for cleaning, cooking, and personal hygiene.
In a separate action, the Board approved the findings of its fifth consecutive unqualified independent financial audit. This means that, in the opinion of an external auditor, the Authority's financial statements are fairly and appropriately presented, with no identifiable exceptions, and in compliance with generally accepted principles of accounting.
An audit is an official, independent examination of an entity’s accounts and financial information. An unqualified opinion is formed only when the results of this inspection leave no doubt or concerns on the part of the independent auditor as to the soundness of an entity’s financial practices.
The Authority undergoes a full auditing process every year. This year’s audit was performed by Maher Duessel, Certified Public Accountants. The independent audit process performed by external auditors not only verifies that an entity follows standard accounting practices, but also that department-wide internal processes lend themselves to accomplishing the Authority's overall mission and goals.
PWSA remains committed to following all applicable accounting standards while making critical infrastructure investments that will improve the level of service for all customers. PWSA spent over $107.9 million on capital projects in 2019—an increase of $38.7 million, or approximately 56 percent, over the $69.2 million expended in 2018. PWSA spent $22 million on private lead line replacements in 2019.
PWSA’s full Audited Financial Statements can be found on our Finance page.
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is the largest combined water, sewer and stormwater authority in Pennsylvania, serving 300,000 consumers throughout the City of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.