Last Friday, PIIN, alongside dozens of members of the newly formed Our Water Campaign, called upon the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) to improve water quality and service at the monthly PWSA board meeting.

Pastor Vincent Kolb addresses the PWSA board meeting.
Photo credit: Rebecca Addison, Pittsburgh City Paper

The Our Water Campaign was formed in response to widespread public health concerns stemming from last month’s boil water advisory and persistently high lead levels in our region’s drinking water. The campaign is a coalition of eight local organizations, including: Pittsburgh United, Clean Water Action, Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network, Sierra Club, Nine Mile Run Watershed, New Voices Pittsburgh, Thomas Merton Center, and One Pennsylvania.

In addition to our deep concern over our region’s water quality, the coalition is also working to ensure that the public retains maximum control over our water. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial Board has recently suggested that Mayor Peduto consider selling the authority to Pennsylvania-American Water Company, a private, for-profit corporation. We believe this approach is shortsighted and dangerous.

Members of the Our Water Campaign packed the PWSA board meeting room on Friday to publicly announce our campaign for the first time, and to demand the creation of a public oversight committee for Mayor Peduto’s forthcoming PWSA Advisory Council.

Pastor Vincent Kolb called upon the PWSA to “restructure and forgive the oppressive debt that is keeping us from having the authority we deserve.” Click here to read more about last Friday’s board meeting and additional commentary made by Pastor Kolb.