PWSA board considers assistance program, moratorium on service shutoffs

PWSA board considers assistance program, moratorium on service shutoffs

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority board is poised to begin a customer assistance program, along with a suggested moratorium on water service shutoffs for customers.

PWSA board Chairwoman Debbie Lestitian moved Thursday to create a subcommittee within the board to consider the approach, asking Councilwoman Deb Gross (District 7) and Vice Chairperson Margaret Lanier to take the lead.

“An important part of working on a public authority is listening to the public," said Lestitian. “I’ve had several meetings with a lot of the community groups, they’ve all expressed the same concerns. With three new board members now, it’s a responsible time to explore customer assistance programs and their requests for a potential shut off moratorium.” 

Friday, August 11, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Pittsburgh
Allegheny County Controller blasts Health Department's reaction to lead in new audit report

Allegheny County Controller blasts Health Department's reaction to lead in new audit report

On the same day that Pittsburgh City Council passed a bill to expedite the process of removing lead water service lines from the city’s infrastructure, Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner criticized the county’s health department’s response to lead contamination just hours later.

Wagner released her office’s audit of the Allegheny County Health Department’s (ACHD) programs in response to elevated lead water levels. In April, Wagner announced that her office would perform the audit after concerns that the health department was not seriously considering water as a source of lead contamination.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017/Author: Iain Oldman
Categories: Pittsburgh
Legislation allowing PWSA to replace private lead water lines moves forward without defined funding

Legislation allowing PWSA to replace private lead water lines moves forward without defined funding

Pittsburgh City Council voted Wednesday to move ahead with a plan to replace the city’s privately owned lead water service lines without support from the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

Council voted 6 to 1 to move two bills along to a full vote on Tuesday to approve the bills’ final amendments. Councilwoman Darlene Harris (District 1) was the lone abstention, though Councilman Corey O’Connor stated he intended to abstain on the vote before leaving the council chamber prior to the vote. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017/Author: Iain Oldman
Categories: Pittsburgh
Lead levels in Pittsburgh's drinking water starting to improve

Lead levels in Pittsburgh's drinking water starting to improve

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority announced Tuesday that it is now in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency's standards for lead levels in drinking water according to its most recent compliance testing.
128 residential samples were collected through June 2017 and the 90th percentile value was calculated at 15 parts per billion (ppb), the EPA action level. Less than 10 percent of homes were above 15 ppb.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Pittsburgh
Legislation to move PWSA under authority of PUC clears Senate Appropriations Committee

Legislation to move PWSA under authority of PUC clears Senate Appropriations Committee

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted Friday to move out a proposal by House Speaker Mike Turzai (R-McCandless) and Rep. Harry Readshaw (D-West Mifflin) to place the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) under the control of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC).

House Bill 1490 is only one of the proposal’s currently being considered in Harrisburg to help elevate the crumbling water and sewer infrastructure that is crippling some Pittsburgh residents with a lead water issue.

The other two measures, Senate Bills 656 and 649, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-Brookline) would allow local governments to tap government funding sources to help citizens fund sewer and water line repairs- especially when public health or safety are at risk. 

Friday, June 30, 2017/Author: Alanna Koll
Categories: Pittsburgh
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