PWSA says it meets state-mandated deadline for replacing lead water lines |

PWSA says it meets state-mandated deadline for replacing lead water lines

Bob Bauder | Tribune-Review
PWSA contractors replaced a lead water line at this house on Phillips Avenue in Squirrel Hill by pulling a new copper line through the ground on Friday, May 4, 2018.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority announced Friday that it has met a state-mandated deadline for replacing at least 1,341 lead water lines in Pittsburgh by June 30.

PWSA since 2016 has exceeded a federal threshold for lead content in water, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ordered the authority to replace 1,341 water lines made of lead each year.

Authority officials said they planed to notify DEP on Friday that they have exceeded the number for 2018 with one day to spare. PWSA spokesman Will Pickering said the authority replaced 1,380 lines, including 400 privately-owned lines at no cost to homeowners.

“Surpassing the lead line replacement mandate is a major milestone for the authority and the public we serve,” PWSA Executive Director Robert Weimar said in a statement. “Our comprehensive Community Lead Response is proving that we can meet the commitments we make to our regulators while also protecting the health of our customers.”

DEP last year fined PWSA $2.4 million for various violations that occurred from 2014 through 2017, including failing to replace a required number of lead service lines. PWSA replaced 415 lead lines between July 2016 and June 30, 2017 — less than a third of the number required.

PWSA said five separate contractors and PWSA crews worked into evenings and through weekends to meet the deadline. Favorable weather conditions in June helped, the authority said.

Contractors used new techniques , including pulling new water lines through the ground rather than digging them up, which accelerated replacement.

The authority’s $44 million program aims to replace all lead lines in the city. Work will continue throughout the year.

“There is still a long way to go, but meeting this deadline shows that PWSA is clearly making progress in its lead line replacement program,” Mayor Bill Peduto said.

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or [email protected]

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.