Test shows no contaminants at Lanpher Reservoir, boil advisory remains

PITTSBURGH — A boil water advisory issued for 18,000 homes in the Pittsburgh area could soon be over.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority says tests done on Monday and Tuesday at the Lanpher Reservoir have not detected the presence of any contaminants.

PWSA issued the advisory after discovering tears in the cover at the reservoir.

PWSA says they're hoping to lift the advisory sometime Thursday.

But still, the boil water advisory for all of those customers remains in effect.

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We wanted to know how officials are making sure restaurants in the advisory zone are using boiled water, just to be safe.

The Allegheny County Health Department has been sending inspectors out to restaurants to make sure they're following and meeting all safety standards.

At restaurants open in the advisory area, the safety of food is just as important as the water.

Channel 11 learned inspectors have been visiting restaurants to see how they're operating.

Tuesday, they locked up a Subway restaurant on the North Side after inspectors found the sandwich shop running normally, despite being under the boil water advisory.

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Hospitals have also been going to great lengths to make sure safety procedures are being met.

As for people living in the affected areas, many are trying their best to make it through this inconvenience.

"This is our first time on the North Side, going through this here,” said Lillian Burke. “We're handling it pretty good. We got to boil our water for bathing, preparing food, things like that."

Like a lot of folks, she found herself making yet another trip to the grocery store Wednesday to restock her bottled water supply, and she's definitely not alone. Even people who aren't in the affected areas say they don't want to risk contamination.

"Pittsburgh's water, there's always been uncertainty about it, so I think it's better to drink bottled water,” Dan Matta said.

The Allegheny County Health Department Food Safety Program has taken the following steps to ensure restaurant compliance with the PWSA Boil Water Advisory:

  • Assembled a list of 534 affected facilities in the area where the advisory is in place (this includes stadiums)
  • Food safety staff called all of the facilities on the list, prioritizing schools, child care and residential facilities first, to assess their knowledge of the BWA and then provide guidance on safe procedures should they choose to operate under these difficult conditions.
  • Food safety staff then visited facilities that could not be reached or that didn't convey that sufficient health and safety features were in place, issuing orders for non-compliance where necessary
  • Fifty site visits were either conducted Tuesday or scheduled for Wednesday