PWSA 2018 Curb Box Inspections Top 6,000 Sites
Lead line map now displays data for 19,000 additional private service lines
Pittsburgh, PA – The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is assembling a comprehensive inventory of the location of lead service lines. This data is key to identifying the location of future lead service line replacements and informing customers of potential water quality issues in their homes. The curb box inspection program is a critical component of this large undertaking. The curb box inspection program began in 2017 and was continued in 2018 by Michael Baker International, a worldwide engineering and construction firm headquartered in western Pennsylvania. So far this year, over 6,000 service lines have been inspected.
The curb box inspection process starts by removing the cap of the curb box, usually found in the sidewalk, and sending a camera down to the shutoff valve. Inspectors use this footage of the valve to determine the material of the service line. The data is collected and sent to Michael Baker’s office in real-time, meaning crews can accomplish upwards of 70 curb boxes every day. PWSA’s lead team works to review this data and post it to our lead map found at www.pgh2o.com/leadmap. Here, customers can view curb box inspection results as well as historical data PWSA has kept of properties throughout the service area.
In addition to the curb box inspection program, PWSA recently added 19,000 records of private service line material to PWSA’s interactive lead line map. With this addition, PWSA’s map now includes over 65,000 historical records. This information can be a helpful tool for customers to determine their risk for exposure to lead in water. We will continue to upload historical data and results from curb box inspections to make the lead map a comprehensive tool for all PWSA drinking water customers.
“Our Community Lead Response has made tremendous progress in the past six months. It’s easy to forget that in 2016, PWSA did not have a single map showing the location of lead service lines. We now have a searchable and public lead line map displaying over 65,000 data points,” said PWSA Executive Director Robert A. Weimar. “This progress, paired with our aggressive full lead line replacement program, makes it clear to the public that our number one priority is the safety of our water,” he continued.