WIFIA loan will help rejuvenate old water systems, promising a safer drinking supply for Pittsburgh’s residents and businesses.
In a significant move to secure water safety and promote job growth in Pittsburgh, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a sizable $52 million loan to the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA). As part of the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), the initiative aims to update the city’s deteriorating water infrastructure, thereby ensuring a reliable drinking water supply.
Comprehensive solution for aging infrastructure
The EPA’s WIFIA loan, combined with state investment, will support infrastructure upgrades, replacing two water mains and rehabilitating the Highland II Reservoir liner and cover. The project also includes the upgrade of the Bruecken Pump Station.
Clearwell Replacement Project: water quality improvement
The Clearwell Replacement Project, critical for the replacement of the city’s 115-year-old clearwell, will improve the reliability of the drinking water supply system. This will support compliance with regulatory requirements, ensuring improved water quality.
500 new jobs
In addition to the substantial health benefits, the EPA estimates that associated infrastructure projects will create about 500 jobs, thus stimulating the local economy.
Additional funding support
Besides the WIFIA loan, PWSA has secured an additional $93 million for this project from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, promoting affordability of the water supply.
Proactive infrastructure management
The funding, according to Will Pickering, CEO for Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, will shift the approach from reactive to proactive, ensuring a safe and reliable water service for future generations.
- $52 million WIFIA loan from the EPA
- Additional $93 million funding from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority
- Estimated creation of 500 jobs
- Major upgrades include replacement of two water mains, rehabilitation of Highland II Reservoir liner and cover, upgrade of the Bruecken Pump Station
- The Clearwell Replacement Project will replace the 115-year-old clearwell
The announcement by the EPA, which sets forth a significant investment for the betterment of Pittsburgh’s water infrastructure, might seem like a localized endeavor. But in reality, it echoes a more profound message for the rest of the country, emphasizing the critical nature of infrastructural renewal for the sake of public health and employment growth. It underpins the idea that efficient infrastructure forms the foundation of resilient communities. And with the promise of hundreds of jobs created, it asserts that such foundational work can fuel the economy too.