PWSA boil water advisory extended for 18,000 homes, multiple schools

PITTSBURGH — Strong words from Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto about a boil advisory that's impacting more than 20,000 Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority customers. Peduto told the press Tuesday this will likely happen again.

The advisory will continue through at least Wednesday, but will likely last until Thursday or Friday.

A test Friday revealed the possibility existed for contamination, subsequent tests over the weekend were all clear, but because of tears to the Lanpher Reservoir cover and concerns that bird droppings could cause contamination, PWSA issued the boil and flush advisory throughout Pittsburgh’s North Side, Millvale and Reserve Township on Monday.

The purpose of the advisory is to ensure that all drinking water meets regulatory standards, according to a release.

The temporary advisory is due to deficiencies in the cover of the Lanpher reservoir that could compromise water quality. PWSA has isolated the reservoir from the water distribution system until repairs can be completed.


“The lifting of the order will be based on two, consecutive samples, taken 12 hours apart on two consecutive days, so if we take one at 5 o’clock tonight, we can take another one at 5 a.m. tomorrow. Each sample takes approximately 24 hours to process and so at the end of that 24-hour period, we’ll get an answer,” said Bob Weimar, director of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. “Once we get two consecutive samples with no detection of coliform, then we will get the order lifted.”

The Lanpher reservoir is offline, but they do have plans to repair it, but that will take about nine months. In the meantime, they say they will have plenty of water from the Highland Park reservoir to get out to all city residents.

PWSA is coordinating with the Pennsylvania Department of Environment to ensure that all regulatory requirements for disinfection continue to be met. Flushes will also be conducted throughout the impacted area to eliminate potentially compromised water.


PWSA estimates the precautionary flush and boil water advisory affects about 18,000 homes in its service area. The impacted areas are shown

and are listed below.

  • Borough of Millvale
  • Manchester
  • Reserve Township
  • Marshall-Shadeland
  • Allegheny Center
  • North Shore
  • Allegheny West
  • Northview Heights
  • Brighton Heights
  • Perry North
  • California-Kirkbride
  • Perry South
  • Central Northside
  • Spring Garden
  • Chateau
  • Spring Hill – City View
  • East Allegheny
  • Summer Hill
  • Fineview
  • Troy Hill
  • Herr's Island


Customers within the impacted area should do the following before using water for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and preparing food until further notice:

  • Residents who do not know if their property has lead water pipes or solder, it is recommended to first flush your lines by running water from your tap for at least one minute before boiling.
  • Boil tap water vigorously for at least one minute prior to using it for drinking or cooking (the minute starts when the water begins to bubble). This includes water used for brushing teeth, making ice, washing raw foods, preparation of drinks and water for pets.
  • Wait for the water to cool before using it, or store it in the refrigerator in a clean container.

Customers in this service area are being advised to flush their taps and then boil their fresh water to ensure that drinking water meets or exceeds all state and federal water quality requirements.

Boiling kills harmful bacteria in the water that may cause illness. You should throw away ice made during the time the advisory or notice was issued, as freezing does not kill bacteria.

Flushing water brings in fresh water from the main and boiling fresh water kills any bacteria and other organisms that can enter the water. You can also use bottled water.

For more information on boiling water visit the PWSA homepage



Impacted customers will be notified by PWSA through automated robocalls.The boil water advisory will remain in place until further notice.

Anyone with questions can visit

or call Customer Service at 412-255-2423.