PWSA celebrates removal of 10,000th lead service line

The Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority (PWSA) this month is celebrating the removal of its 10,000th lead service line. State and local officials, community leaders and members of the Community Lead Response team gathered on Hazelwood Avenue on Feb. 24 to reflect on the seven-year initiative and view the removal of the 10,000th lead service line.

Joining PWSA’s CEO Will Pickering were Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania Austin Davis, U.S. Rep. Summer Lee (D-Pa.), Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Water Bruno Piggot, Deputy Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) Robert Boos, Vice Chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) Stephen DeFrank, Deputy Mayor of Pittsburgh Jake Pawlak, and other community leaders.

“This is a proud moment for PWSA and an accomplishment the Pittsburgh community can celebrate,” said Pickering. “Removing 10,000 lead lines has taken years of dedicated work and support from federal, state, and local leaders. Reaching this milestone is an accomplishment we can all share and we will not stop until all lead pipes are removed from our system.”

Removing lead service lines is one of the most proactive ways to reduce lead exposure and provide Pittsburgh residents with safe, high-quality drinking water. Since the establishment of PWSA’s industry-leading Community Lead Response program in 2016, it has replaced 10,000 public lead service lines and over 6,900 private lead service lines. That represents a total of more than 59 miles of lead lines removed from Pittsburgh’s water system. To date, PWSA has invested more than $100 million on the removal of lead lines throughout its water service area.

The work featured on Hazelwood Avenue was part of PWSA’s annual water main replacement program. This work targets aging water mains and replaces any lead lines attached to those mains at no cost to the customer. The program is currently replacing approximately six miles of water mains and hundreds of lead lines through the water service area.

PWSA says funding through PENNVEST and other state or federal sources has allowed for the continued and aggressive replacement of lead service lines. Since 2018, PWSA has applied for and received more than $152 million in PENNVEST funding, of which $19 million has been grants which do not have to be repaid. These low-interest loans and grants are estimated to have saved ratepayers over $140 million. The project featured at today’s event was made possible by a $38 million funding package from PENNVEST.  

“The PENNVEST State Revolving Fund project approvals for the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority lead line removal effort demonstrates our commitment to clean water, and strong communities to serve the people of Pennsylvania,” said Robert Boos, Deputy Executive Director at PENNVEST. “These projects benefit public health, the environment, and support sustainable communities as we advance our shared goal of a clean and safe environment for our families to enjoy, both now and for future generations.”

Included in some of the PENNVEST funding packages are grants allocated from President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. In 2022, PWSA was awarded a $6.49 million grant and in 2023 awarded a grant totaling $9.65 million. This funding, allocated to the replacement of lead service lines, will not need to be repaid since it comes in the form of grants.   

Also in February, the Biden administration announced it is awarding $91.9 million to Pennsylvania from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to upgrade essential water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.

For more information on PWSA’s Community Lead Response, please visit

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