Pittsburgh, PA – Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) commends the Biden Administration and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for their steadfast commitment to improving the Lead and Copper Rule, ensuring lead lines will be replaced across this country. These regulatory improvements, once implemented, will ensure water providers create inventories, replacement plans, and go further with testing protocols to understand the full risk of lead in drinking water.
PWSA is pleased to confirm that many of the regulatory improvements are integral to our Community Lead Response. For over seven years, we have developed industry-leading programs that reduce the burden of voluntary lead testing and lead service line replacement for our most at-risk customers. By putting our customers first, we have prepared ourselves for more stringent requirements.
“We thank President Biden and EPA for recognizing that this threat to public health cannot remain in water systems across the country,” said PWSA CEO Will Pickering. “We’re excited that PWSA’s Community Lead Response is consistent with the proposed regulations due to our commitment to protecting public health and years of learning-by-doing.”
Some of the biggest upcoming changes to the Lead and Copper Rule, and PWSA’s approach, include:
- Changing the Lead Action Level to 10 parts per billion (ppb) – Our lead levels remain well below this new threshold. Our most recent round of lead compliance testing, completed earlier this year, are the lowest lead levels – at 3.4 ppb – in more than 20 years.
- Achieving 100% Lead Pipe Replacement within 10 Years, beginning in 2027 – Since 2016 we have replaced more than 10,600 lead service lines in our drinking water system. With more than half of these dangerous lead pipes estimated to be removed, we will continue towards our goal of replacing all lead lines by 2026. To do this, we will continue to pursue funding from state and federal programs that will save ratepayers in the long-term.
- Locate Legacy Pipes – We have developed and improved upon our service line inventory for many years. Using various data points, we are constantly improving our records. You can see our comprehensive service line map at lead.pgh2o.com.
- Improving Tap Sampling – The proposed regulations will now require water systems to take multiple tap samples to get the best possible picture of the water quality in a home. We are confident that our corrosion control treatment will keep samples well below the new lead action level, even with this new testing protocol.
Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is committed to protecting the public health of our customers by reducing lead levels and replacing lead lines at no direct cost to residents. We are prioritizing this work to improve the quality and safety of drinking water for current and future generations of Pittsburgh families.