PITTSBURGH, PA (April 24, 2017) Mayor William Peduto’s administration and the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority today announced its additional plans for distributing lead filters to interested City residents, through the Safe Water Program.
The plans are detailed at pittsburghpa.gov/safepgh2o. Those interested in obtaining filters can either visit the website or call the City’s 311 Customer Service office.
Initially, priority will be given to those with small children and those with homes affected by partial lead line replacements, but all City residents are eligible to receive them.
“After decades of disinvestment, my administration and the PWSA are committed to solving lead issues once and for all. Filters are only a first step of many to come, but be sure we will solve this problem and give residents the safe and reliable water system they deserve,” Mayor Peduto said.
Residents of Millvale, which is serviced by PWSA, will also be eligible for the filters.
The distribution plan for the filters is in three parts:
For Residents With Partial Lead Service Line Replacements
- Residents in the City who will be receiving partial lead service line replacements will have filters given to them. There is no need for residents receiving partial lead service line replacements to request filters through this website, as the filters will be automatically provided to them.
For Households with Expectant Mothers and Children Under 6
- There are approximately 7,000 households in the City of Pittsburgh with a child under 6 in the home. The Safe Water Program has identified over 300 family health centers, pediatricians, assistance offices, and childcare providers, and will be distributing filters directly to those providers to make sure that they can get into the hands of the most vulnerable as quickly as possible. Organizations who work with expectant mothers and children and are willing to distribute filters should call 311.
For Members of the General Public
- All residents of the City of Pittsburgh and Millvale who are interested in testing their water may request a test kit, in additon to the filters being made available to the general public. In order to request a filter and/or a test kit, residents are asked to either visit the Safe Water website, or call 311.
All calls to 311 are answered by a live operator from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Mondaythrough Friday. In the City of Pittsburgh, dial 311. Outside of Pittsburgh, call 412-255-2621.
The $1 million filter program was funded by $500,000 from Peoples Gas and $250,000 from both the City and the PWSA.
The filters, which purify drinking water, will be in the form of scientifically certified half-gallon pitchers.
Like many older cities, the City of Pittsburgh has a significant number of lead service lines. If you believe your home may have lead, here are further steps you can take to reduce your exposure to lead in your water:
- Run your water to flush out lead
- If you haven’t used your water for several hours, run your cold tap for one minute before using for cooking or drinking. Homes with longer lead water service lines may require flushing for a longer period of time. Using toilets, washing clothes, showering, or doing dishes before you drink from your tap are all ways that you can flush your service line without wasting water.
- Use cold water for cooking and preparing baby formula
- Lead dissolves more easily in hot water. Do not drink, cook with, or make baby formula using hot water.
- Do not boil water to remove lead; it will not reduce lead levels.
For additional information about the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority’s Lead remediation efforts, please visit http://www.pgh2o.com/lead-facts.