PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority tested 100 at-risk homes and several exceeded the federal allowable limit for lead.
“There were 17 samples that exceeded that level; and therefore, we have to do some additional things to try and get that number down,” said PWSA Acting Director David Donahoe.
As a result, the authority must now identify and replace its lead service lines, which leach lead into the drinking water.
Donahoe says PWSA is already in the process of doing that. But he said the lead service lines, which run from the street into the individual homes, are the responsibility of the property owner.
“As a municipal authority we are not allowed to replace private property, which is what a customer’s lead service line would be,” said Donahoe.
If you have a lead service line, that’s bad news.
It means you’re on the hook for replacing the lead services line, and that could cost as much as $3,000 or $4,000.
The PWSA will test your water free-of-charge, but if it detects high levels of lead in your water, both state and local officials say there is no money to help low-income homeowners replace their service lines.
However, the mayor and the authority say they are looking into developing such a program.
“I have spoken with people in the philanthropic community about that, and so far, that hasn’t developed, but that certainly is on our agenda,” Donahoe said.
Experts say you should have your water tested, and if lead levels are high, you should take some action, including have that lead service line replaced.