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Pittsburgh Outdoor Pools Open This Week, Possibly The Last Season With Free Water From PWSA

Photo courtesy Citiparks, City of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh's outdoor pools open Wednesday, giving residents reprieve from hot temperatures this summer. This might be the last summer that water for pools, and other amenities, will be free for the city. 

Under a proposed agreement between the city of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, the city will be treated as a commercial customer. Right now, the city doesn't pay for its water use, whether that's in pools, buildings or spray parks.

Nobody knows how much it will cost to keep the pools filled, according to PWSA board chair Paul Leger.

"In order to charge for water rates, we have to meter all the city facilities," Leger said. "They are not all metered by any means."

In a statement, city spokesman Tim McNulty said the metering process is expected to take five years to complete.

The city of Pittsburgh operates 18 outdoor pools, as well as eight spray parks that opened last month.

"Our expectation is that the city water bill will be of massive proportions," Leger said. "It could be as much as $10 million [for the entire annual bill]."