Lead levels in Pittsburgh water are lowest in 8 years

July 27, 2018 GMT

Levels of lead in Pittsburgh’s water submitted to state and federal regulators by the city’s water authority were the lowest they’ve been in eight years, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority reported Wednesday.

Water from five of the 106 homes sampled by PWSA in its most recent round of testing showed lead levels higher than 15 parts per billion, the action level set by the Environmental protection agency.

That set PWSA 90th percentile results, which are submitted to the EPA and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, at 10 ppb. That number was 21 ppb in January, when PWSA last released lead test results.

In order to be considered in compliance with federal lead regulations, the authority would have to test at or below 15 parts per billion twice in a row. Testing is done every six months.

Water providers that exceed the federal threshold are required to replace at least 7 percent of its lead lines each year. That means PWSA is required to replace at least 1,341 lead lines a year, as it estimates it has about 17,750 lead lines total.

PWSA has replaced over 1,390 lead service lines since July 2016, the authority has reported.