Updated, 11:34 a.m. Sept. 1
At roughly 6:15 p.m., the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority confirmed that a boil and flush advisory in place since Monday had been immediately lifted for northern Pittsburgh neighborhoods and Reserve Township.
Customers in these areas are no longer required to boil tap water before consumption.
The flush and boil advisory remains in effect for the borough of Millvale for the time being.
The inital advisory stemmed from “deficiencies in the cover of the Lanpher reservoir that could compromise water quality,” PWSA initially announced Monday. PWSA officials first saw abnormal readings last week, an occurence that happens three to four times a month, per the authority’s interim executive director. A tear in the cover was discovered over the weekend, leaving the water vulnerable to animal and bird droppings.
The decision to lift the advisory today, which impacted some 18,000 homes in total, came after water quality tests came back clean with “no trace amounts of bacterial content,” PWSA said in a release.
Officials said additional verification of water quality was needed to lift the advisories in Millvale to ensure the water there complied with federal and state standards. According to the DEP:
DEP and PWSA have been in regular communication on what documentation and sample results were necessary.
PWSA had to demonstrate to DEP that the affected (Lanpher) portions of the distribution system were adequately flushed, then provide data that it maintained increased chlorine residuals, and finally provide two consecutive days of sampling results collected from the affected area that were negative for total coliform bacteria. DEP reviewed all available data provided by PWSA as well as ACHD’s findings to determine when the regulatory requirements had been met to lift the boil water advisory in area except for the Millvale portion of the distribution system.
On Thursday, the authority said: “PWSA has sent additional water samples today to its Contract Laboratory to confirm acceptable water quality conditions. It is expected that a final determination of the Flush and Boil Advisory for the Borough of Millvale only will be forthcoming in 24 to 48 hours.” Its Thursday statement continued:
Officials from DEP confirmed that all water system tests for northern areas of Pittsburgh and Reserve Township from Monday through the most recent results this afternoon have shown no trace amounts of bacterial content. All drinking water requirements are currently being achieved, and there is no longer a potential risk to the drinking water supply. PWSA appreciates the cooperation from DEP to ensure that PWSA provides an abundance of caution to meet or exceed all State and Federal water quality standards and goals. .
“PWSA sincerely appreciates the public’s patience and we understand the hardship endured by all during this challenging time. Our main goal at PWSA is, and will always be, providing safe drinking water to our customers,” said PWSA Interim Executive Director Robert Weimar.
“We acknowledge there is much work to do to fix our aging and deteriorating infrastructure to rebuild our water supply and distribution system. With approval of our Capital Budget Proposal by the PWSA Board, we are actively implementing projects as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Weimar.
PWSA thanks Mayor Peduto and his staff, all of the public safety officials, City of Pittsburgh staff, and officials from the Borough of Millvale and Reserve Township for all their support and assistance during our response to this water quality issue. PWSA will work with the DEP and ACHD to address the Borough of Millvale Flush and Boil Advisory as quickly as possible.