What the future holds for Pittsburgh’s water authority

The year ended with a state consent order that included a multimillion-dollar fine.
The consent order, signed by the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority [PWSA] in mid-November, outlines a schedule for the authority to replace lead lines in the city.
The consent order also explains that PWSA will have to pay another fine to the DEP and face additional scrutiny if it does not comply with the consent order.
Weimar told PublicSource the authority will be submitting a proposal to the DEP to create such a program.
“Failure to Conduct System Material Evaluation” Because the lead levels were over the safe limit, PWSA was supposed to submit an inventory of where the lead service lines are and replace at least 7 percent of them.
Of the 415 replacements, 174 were partial lead line replacements — where the public side was replaced but the private lead line remained, according to PWSA spokesman Will Pickering.
If PWSA only completes a partial lead line replacement, the state requires it to provide written notice to residents and do follow-up testing.
Q: What does the consent order mean for Pittsburgh’s lead crisis?
The DEP gave a deadline of Dec. 31, 2020, for the water authority to identify where all of the residential lead lines in the city are.
According to PWSA’s estimate, 25 percent of the city’s 81,000 water lines are made of lead.

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