PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto announced an expansion of his office’s Safe Water Program Monday.
Free water filters are now available to all City of Pittsburgh residents. People living in Millvale are also eligible because they are also serviced by the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority.
Those interested in getting filters can visit the website set up by the City of Pittsburgh, or call its 311 Customer Service office. Calls to 311 are answered by a live operator Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Initially, the filters were going to be made available only to residents with small children and those affected by partial lead service line replacements. Those groups will still be given higher priority.
Those with children under the age of 6 will be able to get filters through over 300 family health centers, pediatricians, assistance offices and childcare providers identified by the City of Pittsburgh. Filters will automatically be sent to residents receiving partial lead service line replacements.
About 20,000 Pittsburgh households have lead service lines delivering water into their homes and between 20 and 30 percent of those lines are suspected of leaching high levels of lead.
That means people in up to 6,000 homes or apartment houses are drinking water with dangerous lead levels.
“Filters are only a first step of many to come,” Mayor Peduto said in a statement Monday, “but be sure we will solve this problem and give residents the safe and reliable water system they deserve.”