This spring, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority will embark on a massive new infrastructure project to replace its small water mains.
Over 700 miles of small-diameter water mains are in PWSA’s system. Most of them are more than 85 years old, and some have been in service for over a century, said Bob Weimar, the authority’s executive director.
“[Small main replacements] are going to provide the opportunity to replace lead service lines at the same time, which allows us to reduce the costs … because we’re not paving the street twice,” said Weimar.
Replacing older, fragile pipes will also reduce the number of water main breaks PWSA must address each year.
It will take the better part of three decades to retrofit the entire system, said Weimar. By 2021 PWSA hopes to replace 25 miles of the smaller mains annually. The board of directors approved funding for the work at its regular board meeting on Friday.