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PWSA To Receive Nearly $24 Million For Sewer Line Upgrades, Other Repairs

Kathleen J. Davis
90.5 WESA
Pennsylvania will invest millions in water infrastructure projects meant to improve drinking, stormwater, and wastewater facilities.

Pennsylvania officials announced Monday the state will invest $97 million in 25 water infrastructure projects across 19 counties, with nearly a quarter of the funds going to the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.

PWSA expects to use nearly $24 million to replace sewer lines in Homewood, Squirrel Hill, Marshall-Shadeland, Spring Garden, Highland Park and Carrick. The project is meant to help eliminate sewage overflows and “reduce infiltration into the collection lines.”

“The intense and frequent storms we’ve experienced this summer have elevated the need to rehabilitate aging sewer lines throughout Pittsburgh,” PWSA chief executive officer Will Pickering said in a statement.

Mayor Bill Peduto said Monday that the funding will help fix the city’s aging infrastructure and create safe drinking water.

The funding is meant to improve drinking, stormwater, and wastewater facilities across the state.

Ligonier Township Municipal Authority and the Municipality of Bethel Park also received funding. Ligonier Township Municipal Authority will install a new water tank and replace water lines, among other improvements, as part of continued efforts to improve water management and improve water pressure. Bethel Park will install new storm sewer pipes and implement more stormwater management to help reduce flooding.

Coraopolis Water and Sewer Authority in Allegheny County will replace roughly 2,200 feet of leaded-joint pipes and valves as part of the project. State officials said the project will remove lead from water distribution lines for 2,309 customers.

Exposure to lead can cause long-term health effects. According to the World Health Organization, lead can cause an increased risk for high blood pressure and kidney damage in adults, andnegatively affect children’s brain development. The effects are oftenmore keenly felt by communities of color.

“Historic investments in clean water infrastructure like the ones made today continue to underscore our commitment to safe and reliable infrastructure for our communities,” Governor Tom Wolf said in a statement. “I am determined to achieve our goal of eradicating lead from drinking water and many of these projects work toward that end.”

Julia Zenkevich reports on Allegheny County government for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at