PWSA Expedites Repairs to the Lanpher Reservoir
Board of Directors approves capital expenditures to repair the western portion. Work on its eastern half is underway.
Pittsburgh, PA – On September 14, 2017, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) Board of Directors approved $9 million in emergency funding to repair the Lanpher Reservoir located in Shaler Township. The repair actions are in response to the precautionary flush and boil water advisory issued for Pittsburgh’s northern neighborhoods, Reserve Township, and the Borough of Millvale on August 28th. Repairs to the reservoir were previously scheduled to take place in 2018.
“PWSA understands that the boil water advisory created a major inconvenience for impacted residents. We apologize that it happened and are looking forward to rebuilding trust with our customers in these areas,” stated Robert Weimar, PWSA’s Interim Executive Director. “However, we also see this as an opportunity to begin addressing our aging and previously neglected infrastructure. The advisory has forced us to aggressively make the necessary repairs that will safeguard this area from future advisories and water quality issues.”
The Lanpher Reservoir was removed from service on August 28th after PWSA and regulators identified potential breaches in the reservoir cover. Treated water now bypasses the reservoir and is supplied to customers in Pittsburgh’s northern neighborhoods, Reserve Township, and the Borough of Millvale directly from the Aspinwall Water Treatment Plant.
The reservoir is now drained and repairs to the cover of the eastern portion of the Lanpher Reservoir started this week. It will take approximately 12 to 18 months to complete this repair. This first phase of the Lanpher Reservoir project will be complete this fall and is estimated to cost approximately $120,000. Due to significant deterioration, the liner and cover will be replaced on the western portion of the reservoir. Design on this larger project is already underway and construction will continue throughout 2018.
In addition to approving the repairs to the western portion of the reservoir, additional expenditures approved by the PWSA Board include the emergency expenditures made during the advisory. This includes the deployment of bottled water and water buffaloes, equipment and materials to dechlorinate the water draining from the Lanpher reservoir, and a backup pump and generator to ensure uninterrupted service into the Lanpher distribution area from the Aspinwall Treatment Plant. The emergency expenditures also account for third party laboratory and inspection services needed to lift the advisory and assess the condition of other water storage facilities.
PWSA is rigorously inspecting reservoirs, tanks, and other water distribution infrastructure throughout the system for structural deficiencies. These assessments will help the Authority determine which structures within the system are most at risk and will help us prioritize repairs to ensure that incidents such as the recent boil water advisory do not happen.
“We appreciate the public’s patience throughout the boil water advisory and especially thank those most impacted by it. PWSA is diligently working to restore customer confidence and is proactively addressing many of its infrastructure and organizational challenges,” stated Robert Weimar, Interim Executive Director.
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is the largest combined water and sewer authority in Pennsylvania, serving 300,000 consumers throughout the City of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. Our over 250 employees are city residents and are committed to enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life by delivering high quality water.