Pittsburgh, PA - After multiple audits and water emergencies, PWSA customers and Pittsburgh residents made it clear — they wanted more transparency and a more accessible water utility.
We listened. In early 2018, we began meeting with neighborhoods and community groups throughout Pittsburgh to share information about our initiatives, the future direction of PWSA, and to get to know those we serve. Since February, we have met with 31 community groups providing information about our plans for infrastructure investment, replacing lead lines, rates, green stormwater infrastructure and capital projects, and our customer assistance programs.
“Meeting face to face with our customers has been the most enjoyable part of my job,” stated Robert A. Weimar, PWSA Executive Director. “I’ve appreciated the conversations I’ve had with individual residents and community groups. Hearing about their challenges and working together to find a resolution is an effective approach. I’m looking forward to all we can accomplish together.”
There are many similarities throughout Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods – they all want safe, reliable water at a fair and affordable rate. We are hard at work making the necessary upgrades to the water system and doing all we can to provide the highest level of service at a reasonable cost.
Nevertheless, some needs and interests vary by neighborhood. Our first meeting of the year with the Homewood Concerned Citizens Council focused on replacing lead lines, rate increases, and assistance programs. While the Lincoln-Lemington Community Consensus group had a variety of questions pertaining to green stormwater infrastructure. The Elliot Community Group mostly wanted to know about the types of improvements they can expect to see with the rate increases, and Highland Park residents were most concerned about the projects impacting the open reservoir, Highland Reservoir I.
This is only a sampling of what we’ve learned from our customers and neighbors. The conversations have given us insight into each neighborhood, are providing residents with consistent information about water, sewer, and stormwater services, and are an important way to build trusted relationships with our customers.
“The dialogue we are having with customers is helping to inform the prioritization of projects and services,” stated Robert Weimar. “Your feedback is an influential part of the plan we are implementing to improve water services citywide. We have met lead line replacement goals, are expediting water quality improvements in Highland Park, and are evaluating green stormwater infrastructure projects. The rate plan recently submitted to the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission balances our capital and operating needs with concerns about affordability.”
If we haven’t met with your neighborhood association yet and you would like to schedule a presentation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would enjoy the opportunity to speak to your group.