Can a PPP Address Pittsburgh’s Water Woes?

25 Feb 2017
Available with corporate subscription

A boil water advisory issued on January 21, 2017, affecting over 100,000 residents, was the latest in a string of service interruptions for Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) customers. In summer 2016 PWSA alerted its customers that it had found elevated levels of lead in 17% of tap water samples, echoing lead contamination problems facing Flint, Michigan.

In response to these high profile failures, the Pittsburgh Mayor is calling for an overhaul of the PWSA, which may include leveraging private participation with a “full financial and operations partner,” an agreement that will undergo intense public scrutiny.

In this Research Note, Bluefield water experts analyze the status of PWSA, which companies will likely respond to this opportunity, and whether the calls for private participation have come too late.

Bluefield Takeaways

  • Financial, service pressures overwhelming Pittsburgh utility.
  • Call for private participation might be too late.
  • Thirsting for opportunity, a queue is expected.