From HPCC President Jake Pawlak:


Hello Neighbors!

I’ve heard from many of you about the Tribune Review article  regarding PWSA’s potential plan to take the Highland Park Reservoir #1 (the open air reservoir in the middle of the park) out of service. In response to these concerns, I’ve spoken to a representative of PWSA, and wanted to share an update.
Due to the low chlorine levels that prompted last month’s precautionary flush and boil advisory, the reservoir is currently being temporarily bypassed while PWSA works to make adjustments to satisfy the PA Dept. of Environmental Protection. Treated water is being supplied directly to the system from the treatment plant, without passing through the reservoir.
Because this temporary fix has been fairly successful, PWSA has begun exploring the idea of permanently bypassing the reservoir, which may make it easier for them to consistently maintain treatment levels that are in compliance with state requirements.  It is also possible that doing so will enhance their ability to implement corrosion control measures to address the issue of lead contamination in some homes. These plans are currently in the very early stages, and will require further study and community engagement before PWSA makes a determination on how to proceed. Permanently bypassing the reservoir would also necessitate some physical changes to the system, which would likely take significant time to implement.
If PWSA does decide to take this path, they have committed to working with the community to explore the possibility of keeping the reservoir filled even if it is bypassed, so that it can remain a recreational amenity for the community.
The HPCC is working to schedule a community meeting with PWSA to discuss this and other topics related to our public drinking water system. Stay tuned to the listserv, our website , and our facebook page for further updates.
I’d like to thank PWSA, Councilwoman Gross, and the Mayor’s office for working with us on this important issue.

Hello Neighbors!

Join us for the Monthly HPCC Community meeting next Thursday evening (2/16), 7pm, at St. Andrew’s Church. This month’s agenda will feature presentations from Councilwoman Gross, State Representative Gainey or a member of his staff, and Green Rocks Fitness. As always, Zone 5 personnel will also be on hand to discuss issues relating to public safety.
Also, if you’re not already a HPCC member or haven’t renewed your membership for this year, please consider joining or renewing. As we move into the spring, we’re beginning to make preparations for our busy event season, and your contribution is vital to ensuring the success of the Highland Park Yard Sale, Bryant Street festival, Reservoir of Jazz concert series, and many more activities.

Pittsburgh, PA – Effective immediately, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) lifted the flush and boil water advisory impacting approximately 100,000 residents in the City of Pittsburgh. Customers no are longer are required to boil tap water before consumption.


Officials from PWSA, the City of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) met this morning to discuss water quality data related to the flush and boil water advisory. Officials from DEP confirmed that all drinking water requirements are currently being achieved, and there is no longer a potential risk to the drinking water supply.


“PWSA sincerely appreciates the public’s patience and apologizes for the massive inconvenience that resulted from the precautionary flush and boil water advisory,” said PWSA Interim Executive Director Bernard R. Lindstrom. “We realize this incident created hardships for residents of the city, but know that our main goal at PWSA is, and will continue to be, providing safe drinking water to our customers.”


Late Wednesday night, PWSA provided the DEP with the required documentation and data to prove that the Authority achieved compliance, and its drinking water was safe for public consumption.  This data showed that there was sufficient chlorine within the water system, the potential “water of concern” had been eliminated, and that the water met and exceeded all DEP water quality standards.


“PWSA has the highest level of respect for DEP. Their rules and regulations are crafted to protect the public. In collaboration with DEP and the Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, the Authority will conduct a full investigation and review of this incident,” said Lindstrom.


“I want to thank Mayor Peduto, Chief of Staff Acklin, County Executive Fitzgerald, all of the public safety officials and the rest of the City of Pittsburgh staff for all their support and assistance,” said Lindstrom.

A total of 15 water distribution locations have been set up for the East End and Central sections of Pittsburgh during the precautionary flush and boil advisory.

Bottled water is available at the sites. Each station is also equipped with 2,500-gallon water buffalo tanks that will be operational by 2 p.m., according to Mayor Bill Peduto’s office. People who want to receive the water must bring their own containers and those containers should be sanitized, officials said.

Highland Park’s closest locations are Fire Training Academy, 1402 Washington Blvd. (Highland Park) and Pittsburgh Engine Co. No. 7, 4603 Stanton Ave., (Stanton Heights).

The city has stockpiled a large supply of bottled water, and has been accepting donations of new sealed water bottles from interested providers. Donations can be dropped off at the city’s Fire Department Warehouse, 2945 Railroad St. in the Strip District.

City personnel also have been coordinating today the delivery of bottled water to schools, community centers, senior centers and certain homes on a priority basis. Those who are unable to access the water distribution centers are asked to call the 311 Response Center for assistance. All calls to 311 are answered by a live operator from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. In the city, dial 3-1-1. Outside of Pittsburgh, call 412-255-2621.

Schools, restaurants and businesses in the affected city neighborhoods are being advised to provide pre-boiled PWSA water or bottled water. The Allegheny County Health Department has provided guidelines for food preparation safety during a water supply interruption.

PWSA will be performing test readings every four hours until the advisory is lifted. Updates and results will be provided by PWSA as information becomes available. Crews have been working through the night to address the chlorine levels that led to the issuance of the advisory.

From the Post Gazette

PWSA is notifying the public out of an abundance of caution, and there is no evidence of any bacteria in the system. There is no direct evidence that PWSA’s water is unsafe, but the advisory is required by DEP due to tests showing low chlorine levels at a single test site.

Restaurants, schools, nursing homes, hospitals and businesses in the affected territory should also comply with the advisory, by providing bottled water as necessary, and operators should not utilize public water sources (including ice machines and drinking fountains) without prior boiling until the advisory is lifted.

PWSA has notified critical medical and public safety institutions in accordance with our Action Plan, and will continue to communicate with the public and local institutions with status updates.

On Wednesday morning, PWSA and city crews will coordinate delivery of bottled water to all schools in the affected neighborhoods. In addition, PWSA will coordinate the placement of water buffaloes.

Over the last 12 hours:
1. PWSA has taken the Highland Park microfiltration water treatment plant out of service to immediately address the Pennsylvania Department of Environment (DEP) concerns about inadequate chlorination.
2. The Authority installed new chlorination technology at the treatment plant in addition to automated sensors to provide accurate and consistent chlorine monitoring.

Over the next 24 hours, PWSA will:
1. Add chlorine in the Highland Park reservoir to address DEP requirements.
2. Continue water quality monitoring to assure we continue to meet safe drinking water standards.
3. Collaborate with DEP to aggressively respond to all DEP technical inquiries, to remove the flush and boil water advisory.
4. Keep the public informed of any developments.

PWSA estimates the flush and boil water advisory affects approximately 100,000 customers in the following neighborhoods:

Bedford Dwelling
East Liberty
Highland Park
Hill District
Point Breeze
Polish Hill
Regent Square
Stanton Heights
Squirrel Hill
Swisshelm Park
Terrace Village

Customers within the impacted area should do the following before using water for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth, and food preparation until further notice:

Flush your water tap by running water for 1 minute or longer, then
Boil water for 1 minute, and let it cool before consumption

Flushing water brings in fresh water from the main and boiling fresh water kills any bacteria and other organisms that can enter the water. You can also use bottled water.

Customers in this service area are being advised to flush their taps and then boil their fresh water out of an abundance of caution to ensure that drinking water meets or exceeds all state and federal water quality requirements. Impacted customers have been notified by PWSA via automated robocalls. Customers can identify if they are in the impacted area by searching on this interactive map: The boil water advisory will remain in place until further notice. Customers with questions can call PWSA at 412-255-2423 or visit

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