#PWSA

The success story of Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority

Ian Hanner
|Aug 21|magazine7 min read

The Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority (PWSA), founded in 1984, was born to manage a $200 million capital improvement program intended to overhaul the city’s aging water treatment and distribution infrastructure. Not only was some the equipment getting run down, but more strict water quality requirements mandated by both the state and federal governments necessitated an intelligent restructuring of a system that, at the time, supplied water to tens of thousands.

Today, that system, upgraded several times over, supplies fresh water to more than 86,000 people throughout the city of Pittsburgh.

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But PWSA's story isn't over yet—the organization is striving to improve every day with a range of changes that will move the city of Pittsburgh into a greener future while improving the operational efficiency at PWSA itself.

The operational efficiencies

There was a time when PWSA lagged behind in the race to enter the 21st century. Problems like long call wait times and poorly optimized finances plagued the department which had for so long served as a beacon to the rest of the nation.

That changed in 2012 when the PWSA Board of Directors authorized an agreement with Veolia Water North America— since renamed Veolia Environment— that would allow the private entity to take a degree of control at PWSA while trimming fat from the budget and improving the department. Along with the agreement, Veolia instated interim Executive Director Jim Good, a Veolia employee, to right the ship.

"I gave the hallelujah amen sermon," Good told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2013. "I told them that we were there to work with the employees as their partners. I provided assurances that there wouldn't be any layoffs and that together we could achieve anything."

Good's task was a large one: How do you go about systematically changing an organization in business since the 1980s?

The simplest answer was.......click here to read the rest of this article on Business Review USA

 

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