Officials highlight need for lead-free homes for all Americans
Pittsburgh, PA – The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is pleased to highlight its industry-leading Community Lead Response, as Vice President Kamala Harris, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan, and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge visit Pittsburgh on Friday to learn more about lead remediation efforts. This visit comes as PWSA commits to replacing hundreds of lead service lines in 2022 through various programs.
Since the inception of the Community Lead Response, PWSA has replaced over 9,100 public lead service lines, improving water quality for residents, and permanently removing the risk of lead in homes. This year alone, PWSA is replacing six miles of aging water mains and hundreds of lead service lines as part of the work. This wholistic approach is cost-efficient less disruptive for residents, as it renews all water infrastructure on a street. Other more targeted lead service lines programs active in 2022 include:
- Priority Lead Service Line Replacement – A $4.7M Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) funded project ($2.8M grant, $1.9M loan) that replaces lead service lines at all daycares and sites with elevated lead water samples. Customers who take a free lead test kit sample with PWSA and receive elevated results are automatically qualified for a free replacement.
- “Neighborhood” Lead Line Replacement Program – This program will replace all lead lines in neighborhoods across our service area, funded by $17M grant from American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
- Lead Service Line Reimbursement Program – Tenants or homeowners can proactively replace their private lead line by verifying income, working with a private plumber, then getting reimbursed by PWSA.
None of this work would be possible without the extensive service line material inventory that the Community Lead Response Team has amassed over the past six years. With every excavation, leak response, and replacement, we grow our inventory and provide our customers with the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe. Residents can visit our website to search their home on our Lead Map, and access other resources like our customer testing data, free lead kit request form, and coupons for discounted pitchers and filters. If customers ever have questions about lead, or construction work in their neighborhood, they can contact our dedicated Lead Help Desk team, who can guide them through any questions or concerns they have.
“We are incredibly proud of the work we’ve accomplished through the Community Lead Response over the last six years, but there is still work to be done,” said PWSA CEO Will Pickering. “We look forward to continuing this important work and will pursue all state and federal funding available to save ratepayer dollars while completing these crucial infrastructure investments.”
To date, PWSA has received approximately $170 million in state and federal funding towards its Community Lead Response and will apply for additional PENNEST funding for water projects in August 2022. Funding projects this way, versus rates, allows for more aggressive replacement efforts.
To see if you have a lead line, learn more about PWSA lead remediation programs, and tap into resources like lead test kits and filters, visit lead.pgh2o.com.