The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority issued a boil water advisory due to erratic readings of chlorine in Pittsburgh’s water supply.
This advisory impacted about 100,000 PWSA customers and caused Pittsburgh Public Schools to close Wednesday.
According to the PWSA Executive Director Bernard Lindstrom, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection ordered the advisory due to a number of factors.
Lindstrom says that the advisory initiative is in the “abundance of caution” and that there has been no detection of bacteria.
To be safe, boil water for your pets too or give them bottled water.
This is all precautionary, we have found no evidence of bacteria.
— PGH Water & Sewer (@pgh2o) February 1, 2017
According to Kevin Acklin, Chief of Staff, the advisory is due to low levels of chlorine at the Highland Park Reservoir that could lead to bacterial infection in the water.
The low level readings of chlorine could be due to inaccurate reads of chlorination by employees, chlorine detector defects, or the reservoir not functioning properly in regards to mechanical issues. The PWSA is currently exploring all of those possible causes.
Lindstrom has taken the Highland Park Reservoir off of the main system and anticipates that the boil water advisory will not continue for more than 3 days.
Lindstrom calls this issue a “minuscule risk” and will be “feeding data to the Department of Environmental Protection” consistently over the next few days.
Here is a copy of the PWSA’s release.