Pittsburgh water agency to spend $50M to replace lead pipes

Michael Rubinkham | Thursday, February 7, 2019, The Associated Press

Pittsburgh’s beleaguered 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.

It comes a week after the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office filed criminal charges against the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, alleging it mishandled a lead pipe replacement program in 2016 and 2017 and put more than 150 households at elevated risk of lead poisoning. The authority, which had previously admitted civil liability in the case and was fined $2.4 million by state environmental regulators, is fighting the charges.

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Who will control PWSA? A public hearing will tackle governance

Adam Smeltz | Wednesday, July 11, 2018, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Plans to rework governance at the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority are up for discussion next week.

City Council is inviting input at a public hearing slated for 6 p.m. July 18 at the City-County Building, 414 Grant St. The gathering will be on the fifth floor.

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What’s in your water? How to navigate Pennsylvania’s complex monitoring system

Wallace McKelvey | Wednesday, June 27, 2018, Harrisburg Patriot News

‘TAPPED OUT’

Knowledge is power.

We notice when the trash isn’t picked up or the electricity goes out but few people will ever notice contaminants in their drinking water.

The first step is to find out how good the water you’re drinking actually is.

If you drink from a private well, you should already be testing your water regularly. The responsibility is entirely on you.

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Mismanagement, conflicted leadership blamed for governance problems at PWSA

Adam Smeltz | Wednesday, November 1, 2017, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pennsylvania’s top fiscal watchdog urged rapid changes Wednesday in both oversight and financial management at the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, pressing for a more independent board and tighter business practices.

“The average, everyday Pittsburgher wants clean water and a bill they can afford to pay. And the current structure of the authority cannot meet these two very basic desires,” state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Downtown, where he introduced a broad audit of PWSA.

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Pennsylvania’s lawmakers look to streamline replacement of lead utility service lines

Liz Navratil and Adam Smeltz | Monday, August 14, 2017, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Amid the budget impasse enveloping Harrisburg this summer, legislators slipped into state spending bills language that would empower the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority to help homeowners replace their lead service lines.

The provision, tucked into a document called the fiscal code, would allow PWSA and similar agencies across the state to replace or repair privately owned segments of select utility lines — but only if the work would “benefit the public health, public water supply system or public sewer system.” Municipal authorities would have to consider the “availability of public funds, equipment, personnel and facilities” before starting.

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