Pittsburgh mayor says drastic changes needed to fix PWSA

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto told Channel 11 News Tuesday that drastic changes are needed at the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority to get the utility back on track.

11 Investigates has spent the past months uncovering problems plaguing the PWSA, including skyrocketing bills or no bills at all, brown water and elevated lead levels.

Peduto said the PWSA must be watched closely.

"I think once you look at the series of events over the past five years, it becomes evident that what's needed at PWSA isn't just some shuffling of staff but an overhaul of the culture,” he said.

The PWSA is still without a permanent leader after incoming director Ken Griffin pulled his name from consideration earlier this month when questions were raised about his resume.

Peduto praised interim Director David Donahue, but he said long-term leadership is needed to get the PWSA back on track.

"We believe in the people that we've appointed to this board. They're going to need to take more of a leadership role to make sure that culture shift occurs,” he said.

Peduto said even though the utility functions independently from the city, the PWSA’s future path is a top priority if his administration.

The PWSA is expected to have a new director in place by the end of the month. A spokesperson for the PWSA had no comment following Peduto’s statements Tuesday.