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PWSA releases latest lead compliance test results


Last updated 8/8/2019 at 8:50pm

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) has released results from its most recent compliance testing for lead required by state and federal regulations. Samples were collected by customers from worst case scenario homes that were verified to have lead service lines or plumbing.

Homes where lead lines have been replaced are not included in the sampling pool. Testing results indicate that PWSA’s addition of orthophosphate in April 2019 has been effective at reducing lead levels.

PWSA received one hundred and seventy-six (176) samples taken during this most recent sampling period from January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019. The results were analyzed by a third-party laboratory and calculated to determine whether 10 percent of the total samples exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lead action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb). The 90th percentile results from the latest round of testing were 17.52 ppb, which is above the action level.

According to EPA, there is no safe level of lead. Residents who believe they have a lead service line or lead plumbing should continue to consider the recommendations at the bottom of this release to reduce exposure to lead.

The 90th percentile is not an average of the presence of lead across PWSA’s water system, but rather a calculation to determine if 10 percent of the worst-case-scenario sites that were sampled exceeded the lead action level. PWSA will conduct another round of compliance testing with samples collected during the sampling period from July 1 to December 31, 2019.

Hundreds of water quality tests are taken every month from points throughout the water distribution system to ensure the water is meeting all state and federal regulatory standards. PWSA’s dedicated team of water quality experts closely monitor the system every day to ensure safe and reliable service. 


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