Loan secured to safeguard Pittsburgh area’s water supply

PITTSBURGH, July 20 – A $209 million low-interest Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority loan was approved today to help complete a multi-stage project to improve the reliability of the city’s water system.

The project’s ultimate goal is to modernize and bring up to safety standards a clearwell, a tank that holds water after it’s been filtered and while it undergoes the last stages of decontamination.

“This structure was built back in 1908, so some much-needed rehabilitation is certainly in order,” said state Rep. Martell Covington, D-Allegheny. “More than 75,000 residential customers will have access to clean and safe water whenever needed thanks to this undertaking.”

Phase one of this project involves replacing the liner, cover and additional attributes of the Highland No. 2 Reservoir, including 6,000 feet of water transmission main.

In phase two, 4 miles of 48-inch transmission main will be installed from the Aspinwall pump station (treatment plant) to the Lampher Reservoir, safeguarding the water’s quality upon delivery to customers.

The construction of a 75-million gallon-per-day pumping station highlights phase three and will replace the existing Bruecken pump station. Four existing pumping units will be revamped to create a pumping capacity of 45 MGD at the Aspinwall pumping station. Finally, a large concrete conduit will be installed to allow water to bypass the existing plant clearwell.

Phase four will update the tank in question, providing for the water’s purification. This also will allow the water to bypass parts of the clearwell while it undergoes any required maintenance. As a result, the tank will not need to be completely taken offline.

Pennvest, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act are joining forces to make this $410 million venture come to fruition.