We still don’t have an answer to the most critical question: What health effects could have come from the illegal switch to cheaper corrosion control treatment? Caustic soda was used in Pittsburgh’s water supply from April 2014 to January 2016 despite a longstanding requirement by the state Department of Environmental Protection to use soda ash.
Veolia managed daily operations at the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority [PWSA] from summer 2012 through the end of 2015. The switch is believed to have caused lead to flake more rapidly from aging lead service lines across the city and is overwhelmingly seen as the culprit for recent lead level increases in city tap water. PWSA estimates that 20 to 25 percent of city homes have lead service lines.
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