Mission Accomplished: Pennsylvania American Water Marks Completion of $101 Million Pittsburgh System


Mission Accomplished: Pennsylvania American Water Marks Completion of $101 Million Pittsburgh System Upgrade

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Pennsylvania American Water officials today hosted the Department of Community and Economic Development Senior Advisor Mike Cortez, Public Utility Commissioner Wayne Gardner, Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Secretary Kelly Heffner, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and other dignitaries to mark the completion of major improvements to the Hays Mine Treatment Plant and Becks Run Pumping Station.

The upgrades are part of the company's approximately $101 million investment to improve service and public safety at its Pittsburgh area water treatment facilities. The project also included renovations to the E.H. Aldrich Treatment Plant in Elrama, Washington County, and the Arlington Booster Station in the City of Pittsburgh, which supply drinking water to approximately 500,000 people.

"These upgrades represented one of the largest capital improvement projects in Pennsylvania American Water's history," said Kathy L. Pape, president of Pennsylvania American Water. "With these improvements to treatment processes, our Greater Pittsburgh facilities fully comply with new regulatory standards. We're also proud that our investment provided an economic boost to southwestern Pennsylvania."

The upgrade was partially funded through the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority's (PEDFA) tax-exempt debt, which helped to reduce its cost of capital.

"The successful results of this project represent what can be achieved when state agencies, local government, companies and markets work together in a way that benefits all Pennsylvanians," said Mike Cortez, senior advisor for the Department of Community and Economic Development. "Today is a win for everyone - tremendous improvements to service and public safety as a result of this $101 million project."

Built in 1894 when Pennsylvania American Water was known as the South Pittsburgh Water Company, the Hays Mine Water Treatment Plant and Becks Run Pumping Station are capable of delivering 60 million gallons of water per day to communities in southern Allegheny and northern Washington Counties.

"For more than 100 years, the facilities here have been providing this community with clean, safe drinking water," said Commissioner Wayne E. Gardner, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. "While they were state of the art for their time, the new facility will increase efficiency and reliability."

The original Becks Run intake was constructed in 1905, delivering river water approximately two miles up Becks Run Road to the Hays Mine Water Treatment Plant. Pennsylvania American Water's upgrades replaced infrastructure that had reached the end of its useful life. The new facilities include:

  • Monongahela River intake structure

  • Raw water pump station

  • Installation of 3,000 feet of new 42-inch water main

  • Finished water storage and pump station structure

  • Chemical feed facilities

In addition to enabling the Hays Mine Treatment Plant to comply with new regulatory standards and improve treatment processes, the upgrade enhances public safety by replacing gas chlorine with liquid chlorine to address concerns associated with chlorine gas storage.

"We thank Pennsylvania American Water for being proactive in completing these upgrades and improvements to its facility," Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Secretary Kelly Heffner said. "These investments will ensure that Pennsylvania American Water's drinking water will meet regulatory standards for generations to come."

The upgrades also provided significant economic development opportunities for labor and suppliers here in southwestern Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania American Water and Kokosing Construction enlisted local suppliers, such as Pittsburgh-based McKamish and Peter J. Caruso & Sons, Canonsburg-based Lighthouse Electric, All Crane Rental of West Elizabeth, and other local lumber and hardware stores to support the project.

"We're excited to see the investment by Pennsylvania American Water in our community and are proud of the work that they continue to do with our local companies," said County Executive Fitzgerald. "Having upgraded services that impact our quality of life and public safety makes our county an attractive place to live, work and play."

The company worked closely with local trade unions, including the Construction Association of Western Pennsylvania, CIO Cement Masons Union, and Laborers Local 1058. The coordination with these groups ensured 120 workers, or 80 percent of the project workforce, were from southwestern Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYS: AWK) , is the largest water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.2 million people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 30 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.

Pennsylvania American Water
Gary Lobaugh
T: 724-873-3674
M: 724-944-5148

KEYWORDS: United States North America Pennsylvania


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