PITTSBURGH, PA – Mayor William Peduto issued the following statement today clarifying the citywide nature of the Safe Water Program:
“The City is committed to ensuring clean and safe drinking water to all our residents, regardless of who owns and operates their system. This includes not only PWSA customers, but residents of Pittsburgh who receive water from Wilkinsburg-Penn Joint Water, Westview Water Authority, and Pennsylvania American Water.
The Post-Gazette article this morning was based on information over a week old and does not reflect a number of successive conversations about implementing my Safe Drinking Water Program. As discussed at the time of the program introduction, all residents of the City of Pittsburgh will be eligible to receive water filters and lead testing kits through the Safe Water program.
As Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, I am inviting Pennsylvania American Water and the other water authorities within the City to follow the lead of PWSA and provide free water filers and testing kits for all customers in the City of Pittsburgh. We have met with and discussed our program with Penn-American, and are prioritizing filters and testing kits to be delivered the most vulnerable populations, including expectant mothers and small children.
The City will be receiving bids this week to select a provider of filters, and we have finalized a distribution strategy that maximizes the delivery of filters to residents. We are grateful for the support of People’s Natural Gas, City Council and PWSA for contributing $1 million toward this program, and we encourage other charities and corporations to come forward in helping to support this initiative.
This filter and testing program is a critical first step to addressing our residents’ immediate concerns, gathering additional information about the location of lead issues throughout the City, and eliminating all lead from our system, once and for all.”