Pittsburgh, PA — The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) received two Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) funding awards following yesterday's announcement by the state agency. These awards, which total approximately $41 million, consist of a $1.8 million loan and $2.8 million grant for lead service line replacement projects at priority locations, and a $36.3 million low-interest loan for sewer rehabilitation projects. As a result, PWSA ratepayers will save over $40 million when compared to issuing traditional revenue bonds.
“We are grateful for the continued support of the PENNVEST Board, Governor Wolf, state legislative leaders, and the City of Pittsburgh for supporting our programs that will modernize our aging infrastructure,” said PWSA Chief Executive Officer, Will Pickering. “This round of loans and grant will further our progress in removing all lead service lines from our water system and allow us to renew approximately 31.2 miles of sewer mains, some of which are over 100 years old.”
The loan and grant for lead service line replacements will be used for projects in priority locations. PWSA currently defines priority locations as childcare facilities and locations where we detect elevated lead levels. While we are continuing to replace all lead service lines in our service area, certain priority locations—childcare facilities in particular—serve lead-sensitive populations and will be prioritized ahead of others.
Via the low-interest loan for sewer rehabilitation, we will continue to proactively rehabilitate both large and small diameter sewer mains, which eliminates the need for costly and time-consuming repairs associated with aging infrastructure. Sewer rehabilitation is achieved by either repairing the pipe or installing a liner. A liner is a sleeve that is cured to the inside of the pipe, creating a protective barrier that secures cracks and prevents leaks for many years.
“The generous PENNVEST funding awards we have received over the last few years have made balancing record investment in our infrastructure with affordable rates possible,” said PWSA Director of Finance, Ed Barca. “We will continue to pursue funding sources such as PENNVEST, which reinforce our commitment to cost-effective use of revenue.”
As a publicly owned and operated water utility, every dollar we receive is reinvested back into the water systems that serve those living and working in Pittsburgh. To learn more about the Authority’s finances, please visit www.pgh2o.com/about-us/finance.