Nearly $2 Million Remains Available for Free On-Demand Lead Line Replacements

Mora McLaughlinMedia Release, News

Pittsburgh, PA – The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA), as part of the settlement of an enforcement action by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has established a free lead line replacement program available to homeowners and tenants who meet certain income requirements (eligibility table below).

Under the program, PWSA must use $1.8 million for private lead line replacements before November 2020. The funding is expected to replace 200 privately-owned lead lines throughout PWSA’s drinking water service territory. If there is also a publicly-owned lead line serving the property, PWSA will replace it at no additional cost. Once approved, customers meeting the income requirements can have their lead line replaced in a matter of one or two months.

This video demonstrates how PWSA completes lead service line replacements.

PWSA teamed up with Dollar Energy Fund, Inc. to administer the program. They are currently soliciting interest from customers already enrolled in PWSA’s other income assistance programs. However, many households not eligible for utility discounts and government assistance programs are eligible for free lead line replacement.

PWSA Executive Director Robert A. Weimar said, “This is an excellent option for customers with lead service lines who we haven’t yet reached with our neighborhood-based replacement program. We’re particularly excited to hear from homes with pregnant mothers or those who have young children, where lead in water is of particular concern.”

A family of four making less than $61,500 per year would be eligible for a free replacement. Replacement work typically includes a new sidewalk pad, required plumbing upgrades, and a full lead line replacement. Details on the replacement process can be found in the video below.

With this program, PWSA will replace the public and privately owned portions of the lead service line at no charge.

How to Participate

  1. Contact Dollar Energy Fund at 866-762-2348 and tell them you’re interested in the Lead Service Line Replacement Project. Tenants can also qualify for this program with the homeowner’s permission to do work on their property.
  2. Dollar Energy representatives will ask for verification of your income. This will help them determine if you fall within the income guidelines.
  3. If you qualify, PWSA will review your service line material record to determine if you may have a lead line. PWSA may also visit your home to inspect for lead.
  4. If lead is found, they will set up a time to come to your property and replace the line. PWSA uses a trenchless method for over 95% of lead line replacements, which means there will be little to no disruption to your yard.
  5. A licensed plumber will complete a final inspection of the work

Other Resources

  • To read more about PWSA’s other efforts to reduce the risk of lead in drinking water, click here.
  • To request a free lead test kit for residential properties, click here.
  • To learn more about historical data and material investigations PWSA has done to identify lead service lines, go to PWSA’s lead map.
  • The Community Environmental Project is part of PWSA’s overall Customer