Demand Lead-Free Drinking Water


Target: Bill Peduto, Mayor of Puttsburgh

Goal: Ensure that Pittsburgh residents have access to safe drinking water.

Drinking water in many Pittsburgh homes may be contaminated with lead, according to tests performed by the Pittsburgh Water and Sewage Authority (PWSA). PWSA water tests on 100 homes found levels of lead above federal mandated maximum levels with some exceeding federal maximums by a factor of five. Lead is a neurotoxin that has been linked to a number of developmental and behavioral disorders, as well as declining IQ. There is no safe level of lead for children, and the damage caused by lead poisoning is often permanent. Despite declining water quality, the average cost of water bills in the city keep rising, with a high percentage of this money being used to pay the interest on PWSA debt.

In order to fix lead contamination in the city’s water system, the PWSA will likely have to replace much of the water infrastructure in the city. However, disturbing lead pipes often causes a spike in lead levels. Therefore, while this work is being done, residents in affected areas of the city will have to purchase means of filtering lead. Sign our petition and ask Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto toensure that all Pittsburgh residents have access to safe water, and to provide filtration systems to affected houses until lead levels return to safe levels.


Dear Mayor Peduto,

As I am sure you are aware, Pittsburgh is facing a water quality crisis not unlike that of Flint, Michigan. A recent PWSA panel of tests conducted on 100 houses in the Pittsburgh area returned lead levels exceeding federal maximums in the water of 17 houses. In some of these houses federal maximums were exceeded by a factor of five. Lead is a neurotoxin that has been linked to decreases in IQ, behavioral disorders, and a raft of other conditions. For children, the damage caused by lead poisoning is often permanent.

While this problem can be fixed, many of the solutions will result in a short term increase in lead levels. In the interim, residents in neighborhoods with high lead levels will need access to filtration systems to remove lead from their water. Given that these residents have been paying their water bills under the assumption that they were paying for clean water, it is unfair that they should then have to pay again. Therefore, I urge you to provide these filtration systems free of charge, or direct the PWSA to do so.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jenny Downing

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