New tests show lead in Pittsburgh drinking water doesn’t exceed EPA limit, but officials aren’t celebrating yet

For the first time since the state ordered water testing last year, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority has announced that its latest analyses show lead levels in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency requirements. PWSA reported today that its newest results meet the EPA’s “action limit” level of 15 parts per billion of lead and do not exceed it. Even though there is near-universal agreement that it is unsafe to consume any lead, the EPA’s “action limit” is an indication that water systems have to make changes to reduce lead levels if they go above it. The state had ordered the PWSA to conduct this regular water testing after an unauthorized switch in corrosion chemicals that is widely believed to be linked to an increase in lead levels. PWSA has met that limit for the the first time in more than a year but said in a release that residents should continue to follow its guidelines — including filtering water or running it for a minute before drinking it — to reduce their exposure.