Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The addition of a food-grade chemical called orthophosphate to Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority’s distribution system is expected to lower lead levels for its 300,000 consumers within months. The change on Monday comes nearly three years after PWSA first exceeded the federal action level for lead in drinking water.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

This spring, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority will embark on a massive new infrastructure project to replace its small water mains.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has set a new course for its future, in which its customers can rely on clean, safe water and rarely ever think about the authority headquartered at 1200 Penn Avenue. 

PWSA To Spend $50M To Replace Lead Pipes

Feb 7, 2019
Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh's water authority will spend $50 million to replace lead service lines, give filters to low-income residents, and take other steps to address the city's lead crisis under a settlement approved Thursday by state utility regulators.

Jake Savitz / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority board on Monday voted to terminate its cooperation agreement with the City of Pittsburgh and negotiate a new one.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Friday he filed 161 criminal charges against the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority relating to partial lead line replacements the authority made between 2016 and 2017.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

By the end of March, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority must begin treating its water with a type of chemical called orthophosphate to lower lead levels.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority remains out of compliance with federal standards for lead in drinking water.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Some utilities and banks that service western Pennsylvania are offering financial assistance programs to customers impacted by the partial federal government shutdown.

Matt Rourke / AP

Aqua America has regularly backed dozens of Pennsylvania political candidates financially since 2005. The company has spent $153,750 on contributions to state and local candidates this year alone, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Last week, the company announced it would purchase Peoples Gas for $4.3 billion.

Both companies have been eyeing the struggling Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, and have expressed interest in providing water to the city.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

In an informational session at Pittsburgh City Council Thursday, three invited panelists answered members’ questions about privatization and public-private partnerships as they pertain to Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Hundreds of millions of gallons of stormwater flow into Pittsburgh’s sewer system during hard rains, which results in chronic flooding and sewage backups. A massive green infrastructure project slated for Four Mile Run could significantly reduce those problems, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority officials said.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

Residents can offer feedback on Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority’s proposed rate increases for water and sewer conveyance at a series of public hearings this week.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

*The flush and boil advisory has been lifted as of Sunday, August 26. Residents in Millvale are no longer being recommended to take precautionary measures. 

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has announced a precautionary flush and boil order for part of Millvale.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is back in compliance for the amount of lead in its drinking water, according to results from the latest round of testing showing levels at 10 parts per billion.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

By Mayor Bill Peduto’s estimate, some 20 companies have expressed interest in the water side of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. But that tumble of overtures has been absent an integral part of PWSA: sewers.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

As the lights went down in the O’Hara Township council room, Peoples Gas CEO Morgan O’Brien began narrating a short video he’d brought to chambers.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council wants to rewrite a cooperation agreement with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority to change how it's governed

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Peoples Gas announced its intent last week to get into the water business, though exactly how it plans to partner with the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is unclear. A heated discussion in Pittsburgh City Council Tuesday revealed councilors don’t really know what to make of it, either.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

If a state agency approves new rates proposed by the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, residential customers could see their bills increase by 16.7 percent next year, but remain the same in 2020. That would be an increase of $10.61 for a typical household using roughly 3,000 gallons a month. 

That's a smaller increase than the agency once envisioned for 2019 and 2020.

Google Maps

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority officials expect to begin modifying Schenley Park by 2019 to address flooding in Four Mile Run, a section of Greenfield. 

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council and a mayoral panel are in disagreement about how best to insulate the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority from political influence.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh officials have received approval from the state to add a chemical to its water supply to help reduce lead contamination.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council is rewriting a proposal to reform the troubled Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is replacing 2,100 lead lines in the city by the end of the year, and using a less invasive process to switch them out called “pulling.”

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

For a while it seemed as though every day brought some fresh disaster for the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority: billing errors, elevated lead levels, boil water advisories

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The board of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority voted Friday to increase the 2018 budget by about $12 million. They approved money to cover the costs of complying with brand new regulations—and some old ones—as well as to fund urgent repair work.

A big chunk of the increase, about $7 million, comes from the costs of organizing PWSA to meet the requirements of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), according to chief of administration Debbie Lestitian. PUC began its oversight of PWSA on April 1.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

It’s a classic image of American cinema: The outlaw saunters down a deserted main street while a sheriff holds the other end. They face off, guns drawn.

On Monday, Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission will begin oversight of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. Though it won't be quite like a scene from a Western, there are plenty of legal questions involved.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Ah, the harbingers of spring: daylight savings time, the insistent, early morning song of robins and large construction projects. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

It’s going to be a very busy construction season for the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. By the end of 2018, the authority must replace 2,100 lead service lines and aims to conduct 15,000 curb box inspections.

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