PWSA Issues Flush & Boil Advisory For 18,000 Customers

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has placed about 18,000 homes under a Precautionary Flush and Boil Water Advisory.

The advisory covers the North Side of the City of Pittsburgh, as well as Reserve Township and Millvale.

The full list of city neighborhoods includes:

  • Allegheny Center
  • Allegheny West
  • Brighton Heights
  • California-Kirkbride
  • Central Northside
  • Chateau
  • East Allegheny
  • Fineview
  • Herr’s Island
  • Manchester
  • Marshall-Shadeland
  • North Shore
  • Northview Heights
  • Perry North
  • Perry South
  • Spring Garden
  • Spring Hill – City View
  • Summer Hill
  • Troy Hill

The impacted areas are also shown on this map:

pwsa water advisory map 2 PWSA Issues Flush & Boil Advisory For 18,000 Customers

(Source: Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority)

According to the PWSA, the advisory will be in place until further notice. Officials say they’ve found a tear in the cover at the Lanpher reservoir, and are worried about contamination from birds that sit on that cover.

Crews have isolated the problem area until repairs can be made, officials said.

NEWS CONFERENCE: City Officials Update Water Situation —

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto outlined six important points about the advisory during the press conference late Monday evening:

  1. “We are taking this action as a precaution to minimize the threat of a potential contamination.
  2. “We have not identified any actual contamination, and there is no testing that has shown any actual contamination at Lanpher. This action is being taken solely out of an abundance of caution.
  3. “There’s evidence of a potential tear in the cover at the reservoir based upon visual evidence, pooling of water on the surface of the cover that has been unable to be removed.
  4. “Due to the presence of birds on the cover, we are taking this protective action to eliminate any risk that the reservoir water would be impacted by bird droppings from the cover, that is the situation we are dealing with.
  5. “We were working over the weekend to address the water pooling and conducting monitoring and testing in cooperation with both the Department of Environmental Protection and the Allegheny County Health Department.
  6. “The area is limited to the North Side, Millvale and Reserve Townships.”

Amy Wadas’ Report:

The PWSA is working with the DEP to meet all regulatory requirements for disinfection. They are also conducting flushing throughout the affected areas.

“We are flushing all the pipes and will do so for the next 24-48 hours,” PWSA Interim Executive Director Robert Weimar said. “We will be monitoring, as required by DEP and County Health Department, to verify that the water quality is safe, and will confirm that to the public once we have completed those tests.”

Customers are being advised to flush their taps for at least one minute before boiling their water for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth, food preparation, and giving to their pets

They offer these important steps to ensure the safety of the water:

  1. Boil tap water vigorously for at least one minute prior to using it for drinking or cooking (the minute starts when the water begins to bubble). This includes water used for brushing teeth, making ice, washing raw foods, preparation of drinks, and water for pets.
  2. Wait for the water to cool before using it, or store it in the refrigerator in a clean container.

PWSA is also advising customers to throw their ice away and re-freeze it with water after it has been boiled.

Several buildings in the Pittsburgh Public School District are located in the advisory area; however, all will remain open on Tuesday. District officials say all the schools impacted will be getting daily deliveries of bottled water. Also, all kitchen sinks, utility sinks and water fountains will be covered to prevent use.

Bathroom sinks will remain uncovered for handwashing, but signage will be posted, warning students and staff not to ingest the water. They will also make hand sanitizer available for use.

The schools impacted include:

  • Pittsburgh Allegheny K-5
  • Pittsburgh Allegheny 6-8
  • Pittsburgh Clayton
  • Pittsburgh Conroy
  • Pittsburgh King PreK-8
  • Pittsburgh Manchester PreK-8
  • Pittsburgh Morrow PreK-8
  • Pittsburgh Oliver Citywide Academy
  • Pittsburgh Perry High School
  • Pittsburgh Schiller 6-8
  • Pittsburgh Spring Hill K-5
  • Pittsburgh Spring Garden Early Childhood Center
  • City Connections – North

The Pittsburgh Fire Bureau is coordinating to set up water stations throughout the North Side.

“For those that cannot boil the water, we will have water stations set up throughout the North Side to assist you to provide potable water. These stations will probably not be on-line before 10 a.m. [Tuesday] morning,” said Chief Darryl Jones. “We’re getting our resources together and we’ll have these water stations set up.”

For those unable to get around, firefighters will be making home deliveries. Chief Jones say if you or someone you know is one of those people, you should call the city’s 311 line.

“You need to dial the mayor’s 311 line, provide your information, and we will deliver water to you at that time,” he said.

But he also said, due to the Hurricane Harvey disaster in Texas, resources are limited at this time. So, he said, if you can boil water or use bottled water, you are advised to do so.

“It is important to remember, we cannot provide this water to everyone. It is a limited supply, we have a disaster going on in Texas, which is a draw on a lot of resources, so it’s up to us to stand up and boil our water and follow those directions, but we will have potable water for you,” Chief Jones said.

Anyone with questions can contact the PWSA on their Customer Service Line at 412-255-2423, which opens at 8 a.m. every weekday, or visit their homepage at this link.

Earlier this year, 100,000 customers in more than two dozens city neighborhoods were put under a Flush and Boil Water Advisory for several days due to concerns about the water.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.

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