Pittsburgh, PA – Today, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) posted water service line material information for an additional 20,000 properties to its searchable online map. The map now includes historical material records for over 42,000 properties in PWSA’s drinking water service area. Customers can view this information visually by neighborhood or search the records by property address.
The historical records posted to the map were compiled by scanning over 120,000 paper records, many over 100 years old. Most of the records were created at the time of original property construction and may not reflect current conditions. However, reviewing the historical records will let customers know if there is a potential they still receive their drinking water through a service line made of lead.
Until recently, information about the type of water service line at each property – typically made of lead, copper, or cast iron – was stored on paper records that were rarely updated. PWSA started reviewing, scanning, and mapping these records in July 2016. The map displays the available records for the PWSA-owned portion (from the water main to the curb) and the privately-owned portion (from the curb into the home) of the water service line. PWSA will complete a more up to date water service line material inventory for all homes in its drinking water service area by 2020.
If the online map indicates the possibility of a lead line at a property, PWSA encourages customers, especially those with young children or pregnant mothers, to test their water and consider using a water filter certified to remove lead. They can also hire a licensed plumber to determine the material of the service line entering their home. All PWSA residential drinking water customers are eligible for PWSA’s free water test kit program to learn more about the quality of their drinking water.
The Authority has excavated over 1,400 service lines as part of its replacement program. In many cases, the material type on the historical records were found to be no longer accurate because lines were replaced over time, but records were not updated.
“The safety of our water is our number one priority, and we’re committed to being transparent about the actions we’re taking to address lead. In addition to removing thousands of lead lines from our system, we’re building new water treatment upgrades that have been proven to reduce corrosion from lead service lines. This upgrade, which will be in place in early fall, is expected to reduce lead levels across our entire service area.” said PWSA Executive Director Robert Weimar.
The map also includes results from recent curb box inspections, and the areas identified for lead service line replacements. Additional data related to PWSA’s multiple lead programs will be posted to the map on an ongoing basis.
Customers who need assistance accessing the records online may contact PWSA’s Lead Help Desk at 412.255.8987.