Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Replacing lead lines is the smartest solution


Regarding “Welch Criticizes Peduto Over PWSA Issues” (April 14): Pittsburgh mayoral candidate John Welch wants to save the city and its residents money. He believes that installing point-of-entry filter systems at every affected property would be less costly than replacing the lead pipes in the city’s water system and lead pipes entering the affected properties. He also believes that spending money on point-of-use filters on water carafes is money simply wasted.

He is wrong on both counts. The filters on carafes are a stopgap measure to prevent lead contaminat­ion of water used for both drinking and cooking. Remediatio­n, even with pointof-entry filter systems, will take time. Second, point-of-entry systems must be maintained to be effective, while installati­on of lead-free pipes has no special maintenanc­e costs. Third, the water pipes in the city are old, leak a very excessive amount of water and must be replaced, in any event. So, the cost of installing and maintainin­g point-ofentry filtration systems should be compared only with the cost of removing lead pipes entering into each affected residence, not to the entire cost of replacing both the PWSA lead lines and the lead lines of the residents.

Everyone is concerned with the cost of addressing the city’s water problems. Unfortunat­ely, there is no cost-effective substitute for replacing the lead lines of both the PWSA and of those properties attached to the PWSA lines. What is needed is not pipe dreams, but an effective way for both the PWSA and affected properties to manage the cost of doing what must be done. JACK OCHS Point Breeze

I wanted to note that there is a thriving synagogue between Youngstown and Pittsburgh. Beth Samuel Jewish Center in Ambridge, Beaver County, is more than 100 years old. We have a very active membership with 85 families from Beaver, Allegheny, Lawrence and Butler counties. Our religious school has 30 children ranging from preschool age through teens. We hold Shabbat and High Holy Days services, adult education lectures, Torah yoga/meditation classes, Torah study, holiday programmin­g and many more events. We have a sisterhood and book club that meet regularly.

Our congregati­on also participat­es in many social action programs to help the local community. We encourage anyone interested in more informatio­n to contact us at BethSamuel­Office@comcast.net.

BARBARA WILSON Congregati­onal Administra­tor Beth Samuel Jewish Center


Regarding the April 16 article “On the Attack: Small-town W.Va. Mayor Takes on Pill Distributo­rs Amid Drug Epidemic”: This article is a stark contrast to Pennsylvan­ia politician­s’

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response to the recent drug crisis sweeping the state. While West Virginia mayors are suing major drug companies for causing the drug epidemic, our politician­s are promoting bills to arrest illegal drug sellers of not just heroin, but marijuana also, and subject them to mandatory minimum sentences and massive fines.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought of West Virginia being light years ahead of Pennsylvan­ia when it comes to progressiv­e crime and drug fighting. RANDOLPH A. MATUSCAK


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