PWSA launches Line Repair and Water Conservation Pilot Program

Sept. 26, 2023
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority will see income-qualified customers receive help from a professional plumber to repair water leaks and install water savings devices.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) announced that it is launching the Line Repair and Water Conservation Pilot Program, offering income-qualified customers with in-home plumbing repairs and enrollment in the Customer Advantage portal to receive future leak alerts and further reduce water usage.

Under the Line Repair and Water Conservation Pilot Program, a professional plumber will work directly with customers to repair water leaks and install water saving devices, while our PGH2O Cares team provides one-on-one support to enroll customers in the Customer Advantage portal. Here they have access to water conservation strategies that can help save water and money on their monthly PWSA bill.

All PWSA customers can establish an account in the Customer Advantage portal where they can pay their monthly bill, set-up automatic payments, track water usage and more.

Income-qualified customers within PWSA’s drinking water service area, which includes Pittsburgh and Millvale, are eligible for this program. By providing customers with support to fix water leaks and empowering them to adopt water-efficient practices, they will have greater control over their day-to-day water use - resulting in lower water bills and more efficient water use at home.

“Upholding our core value of equity, PWSA strives to deliver quality and affordable water services to every community in our drinking water service area,” said Julie Mechling, Director of Customer Service. “This pilot program includes a range of services aimed at enhancing water conservation and addressing failing plumbing within income eligible customers’ residences.”

The Line Repair and Water Conservation Pilot Program is available to PWSA's drinking water customers who earn 150% of the federal poverty level. Application instructions are available at www.pgh2o.com/CAP. The income limits are as follows:

Household SizeIncome Limit
1$21,870
2$29,580
3$37,290
4$45,000
5$52,710
6$60,420
7$68,130
8$75,840

Program Details

According to the U.S. EPA, the average family can waste 180 gallons of water per week, or 9,400 gallons annually, from household leaks. That's equivalent to the amount of water needed to wash more than 300 loads of laundry. PWSA’s new pilot program will help customers reduce water loss from leaking pipes and old, inefficient water fixtures that can cause water bills to be unnecessarily high.

The services of the pilot program are performed by a certified plumber and include:

  • Repairing leaks on exposed plumbing
  • Replacing failing showerheads with low-flow devices
  • Replacing failing toilets with water-saving models
  • Installing up to two water efficient faucet aerators
  • One-year limited warranty on all exposed plumbing repairs and device replacements

In addition to immediate repairs and replacements, the program places emphasis on educating customers about effective water conservation practices. Customers will receive education on home water conservation strategies and guidance to enroll in PWSA’s Customer Advantage portal. With this knowledge, they can monitor water usage and set alerts to detect future leaks.

PWSA introduced its first Customer Assistance Programs in 2018 and has consistently made improvements to expand benefits and eligibility to more customers. This summer, Pittsburgh Water Collaboratory and Women for a Healthy Environment released a report, Measuring Up: Grading drinking water quality, affordability, and transparency practices in Allegheny County Water Systems. PWSA received high marks across the board and was noted as a leader in providing financial assistance to low-income households.

PWSA has dedicated $324,000 toward the Line Repair and Water Conservation Pilot Program, which provides funding to assist potentially 239 income-eligible customers. PWSA said that it will evaluate the success of this pilot program, and, in collaboration with regulators, will determine opportunities to make it a permanent part of our Customer Assistance Programs.

"We are proud to introduce this pilot program and offer eligible customers with additional ways to reduce their water bill and improve the efficiency of home plumbing,” said Will Pickering, PWSA’s CEO. “This program continues to demonstrate PWSA’s commitment to providing equitable and affordable water services to our most vulnerable customers.” 

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