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First phase of work to repair Pittsburgh’s largest water reservoir is complete

September 23, 2018
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The Lanpher Reservoir is split into two basins and supplies water to one third of Pittsburgh. Sept. 3, 2018.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has finished replacing a liner and cover on one half of its largest reservoir located in Shaler.

Workers replaced 10 acres of lining and an additional 10 acres of cover on the western half of Lanpher Reservoir that is split into two basins and supplies water to one third of the city.

PWSA said work on the eastern basin would begin immediately and is expected to wrap up by year’s end.

The $12.5 million project began early this year after workers in 2017 completed temporary repairs to a torn cover at the 113-million-gallon reservoir. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, concerned that bird droppings could have contaminated the water, ordered a boil water advisory that lasted several days after the tear was discovered.

Testing turned up no evidence of contamination.

Lanpher has had its share of problems over the past two years.

In February 2017, a century-old water main from PWSA’s Aspinwall water plant that feeds the reservoir ruptured in Etna, sending 10,000 gallons of water per minute into a storm drain and the Allegheny River. It took four months and $2.5 million to replace the damaged section of pipe. The reservoir was offline until the pipe was fixed.

PWSA provides water and sewer services to 300,000 customers in Pittsburgh and surrounding communities.

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