PWSA to Undertake $7.7 million PENNVEST-Funded Sewer Rehab Project

01/21/2021

Funding method will save customers $3.2 million over 20 years

Pittsburgh, PA -Today, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) announced that it will accept a $7.750 million loan from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) to complete approximately 7.4 miles of sewer rehabilitation work in Brighton Heights, the South Side Slopes, and Hazelwood.  

This is a proactive effort to identify aging sewers and complete low-impact improvements to prolong their life. Rehabilitating our sewers will also help to address discharges into the Ohio and Monongahela Rivers. Completing the work via a low-interest, PENNVEST loan will reduce long-term costs to our ratepayers while providing adequate funding to advance our capital improvement plan.

While sewers serve a simple purpose – to move sewage and stormwater away from homes and businesses – a sewer failure can be very impactful. When sewer walls crack or collapse, they can cause sinkholes, sewer backups, and sewage service impacts to our customers. Additionally, full sewer replacements can be a costly and time-consuming project. Therefore, PWSA is focusing the majority of its capital improvement plan to rehabilitation projects that identify high-risk sewers and address them before a failure.

We will use extensive televised footage of our sewers to determine which portions of sewer can be proactively rehabbed before they fail. This work is done without a trench, using sewer lining technology. Sewer liners are a sleeve that is cured to the inside of the pipe, creating a protective barrier that secures cracks in the pipe and prevents leaks for approximately 50 years. Construction on this project is anticipated to begin in May 2021. 

“We’re grateful to PENNVEST for their continued support for our infrastructure renewal projects,” said PWSA Chief Executive Officer Will Pickering. “This low interest loan will reduce costs to ratepayers, and help us reduce the risk of sewer backups and sinkholes by upgrading over seven miles of our aging sewers.”