Press Release
PWSA Completes Lanpher Reservoir Restoration
East Cell completion restores 56 million gallons of drinking water storage
Pittsburgh, PA - Today, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) is returning 56 million gallons of water storage to its drinking water system. In spring of 2018, PWSA started an aggressive project to restore and upgrade the Lanpher Reservoir by installing a new liner and cover as well as improving the condition of the concrete wall surrounding the water storage facility.
The reservoir, which is in Shaler Township, is divided into two separate halves or “cells.” Restoration work on the West Cell was completed in August 2018. The remaining East Cell upgrades were completed last week, several weeks ahead of schedule. In total, the Lanpher Reservoir can hold up to 146 million gallons of treated drinking water and serves customers in northern neighborhoods of the City of Pittsburgh and Borough of Millvale. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) identified the Lanpher Reservoir restoration work as a priority project for PWSA. The Authority completed all activities within DEP-mandated timelines.
The reservoir has a liner and cover that holds the water inside, like a winterized, water-tight swimming pool. The renewal project included replacing the liner and cover to create an entirely new protective barrier for treated drinking water. Short-term repairs were made to the aging cover in 2017 with a long-term solution designed in early 2018. Dividing the work between the two halves, or “cells”, allowed crews to complete work while providing continuous water service.


Lanpher Cover Repair by the Numbers

The restoration was a major undertaking that required numerous expert crews and a wide array of specialized equipment. PWSA utilized demolition crews, welders, construction workers, and engineers to complete this priority project.
  • 28,704 square yards of cover replaced: A football field is only 6,400 square yards.
  • 28,800 square yards of liner replaced.
  • 3,302 feet of new railing around the reservoir.
  • 30,777 hours of labor, with 10-13 workers per day, for over one year.
  • Estimated project cost: $8.7 million.
This project is just one component of PWSA’s long-term strategic water infrastructure improvement program. In late 2020, PWSA will begin building a new, four-mile transmission main connecting the Aspinwall Water Treatment Plant with the Lanpher Reservoir.
“We’re extremely pleased to deliver this renewal project for our customers. This investment will improve the quality and reliability of our water for the next 20 years,” said PWSA Executive Director Robert A. Weimar. “This work is just one example of our expansive infrastructure renewal efforts to ensure safe and reliable water supply for all of our customers,” he continued.
Read more about PWSA’s 12-year plan to upgrade its water and sewer system at
  • Published
  • Friday, June 21, 2019

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