What's Going On With Pittsburgh's Water (This Time)?

Sep 1, 2017

It's been a busy week for the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. A consultant found PWSA to be “a failed organization atop a dangerous and crumbling structure” in an initial assessment presented Monday. Hours later, the authority issued a flush-and-boil water order for 18,000 homes across the North Side, Millvale and Reserve Township related to holes in the cover on top of a water reservoir in Shaler Township.

That order was rescinded for all but Millvale residents on Thursday. 

Joining the show to talk about the consultant's findings and PWSA's previous problems -- elevated lead levels in drinking water, billing issues, mounting debt and an aging delivery system -- are the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Bob Bauder and Margaret J. Krauss with 90.5 WESA.

Next on the show...

A Pittsburgh-area worker was fired from his job Saturday for comments and posts on social media showing his participation in the white nationalist demonstration in Charlottesville, Va., last month. Days later, Alt-right leader Richard Spencer was blocked from speaking at Penn State. Both men made a first amendment argument.

Reporters Aaron Aupperlee of the Pittsburgh Trib and Julian Routh with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have more.

Later...

Faculty members voted 96-6 to ratify their first-ever contract with Point Park University this week. The agreement comes 13 years after faculty voted to unionize. We talk about why it took so long and what the contract means with Daniel Moore, reporter with the Post-Gazette.

And finally...

The Woodland Hills School District started back this week after a summer away. Last spring, two videos from school surveillance cameras were released showing the arrests of two black high school students by a white Churchill police officer assigned to the school as a resource officer. In one video, the officer can be seen dragging Que'chawn Wade, 14, into the high school's main office lobby before allegedly knocking out one of his teeth off camera. Lawsuits have been filed, and administrators removed.

The Trib's Ben Schmitt has been following it all. 

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week, reporters, editors and storytellers join veteran journalist and host Kevin Gavin to take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region.

Find more episodes of The Confluence here.