Press Release

PWSA Receives $59.1 Million Low-Interest Loan from PENNVEST

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April 19, 2023

Press Release

Funding advances rehabilitation of 56 miles of aging sewer main, improving reliability and safety of sewer services throughout Pittsburgh

**Pittsburgh, PA - **Today, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) was awarded a $59.1 million low-interest loan from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) for the 2023 – 2025 Small and Large Sewer Rehabilitation programs. With this funding, we can more quickly complete needed work on our sewer system while improving services that are essential to everyone in Pittsburgh. 

“With continued support from the PENNVEST Board, Governor Shapiro, state leaders and the City of Pittsburgh, PWSA can effectively extend the useful life of the sewer system while minimizing the impact to ratepayers,” said PWSA Chief Executive Officer, Will Pickering. “Our partnership with PENNVEST is vitally important for strengthening the sewer system that every Pittsburgh resident and business relies on.”

Sewers provide a simple, yet essential function of moving sewage from homes and businesses to our regional wastewater treatment plant along the Ohio River. Some of our sewers are more than a century old and due to age and condition need repair. This round of funding will evaluate and rehabilitate approximately 56 miles of aging sewer mains throughout Pittsburgh from 2023 to 2025. The first neighborhoods slated for this sewer rehabilitation work include the West End, Knoxville, Westwood, and Summer Hill.

The 2023 – 2025 Small and Large Diameter Sewer Rehabilitation programs, will rehabilitate sewer mains ranging in size from 8-inches to 120-inches in diameter. This proactive work minimizes the need for the costly and disruptive replacement of sewer lines, often buried deep beneath the street. With technological advancements and improved construction techniques, we can more effectively rehabilitate sewer lines by either repairing the pipe or installing a liner to its interior. Once cured, the liner will secure cracks and prevent leaks for many years.  

PWSA's sewer rehabilitation programs are creating contracting opportunities for construction firms based in Pittsburgh and across the state. The use of PENNVEST funding and PWSA’s own procurement policies requires a robust and thorough Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) solicitation process. Investing in DBE firms improves the economic vitality of our region and can help to create jobs that stay in our community.   

Outreach to vendors through the Pennsylvania Department of General Services Supplier Search ensures DBE firms are aware of opportunities and the ability to compete for work funded by EPA financial assistance dollars. PWSA's Supplier Diversity Policy, will direct approximately $1,659,377  of this funding to DBE firms. To learn of these upcoming PWSA opportunities, DBE firms are encouraged to register with our procurement portal.   

“Our partnership with PENNVEST is essential for implementing our ambitious $1.4 billion capital program,” said PWSA Director of Finance, Ed Barca. “Their ability to provide low interest loans and grants will over time, save ratepayers millions of dollars in comparison to traditional financing.” 

Since 2018, PWSA has received from PENNVEST a combination of $610,822,731 in low interest loans and $35,673,742 in grants, totaling $646,496,473. Over time, funding from state and federal partners keeps rates as low as possible during an unprecedented level of investment in our essential water systems. 

As a publicly owned and operated water utility, every dollar we receive is reinvested back into the water systems that serve those living and working in Pittsburgh. To learn more about the Authority’s finances, please visit  www.pgh2o.com/about-us/finance.

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