Three Rivers. Thirty Streams. One Water Cycle.

Quality communities need quality water. Pittsburgh is abundant in water. We drink it, recreate on it, observe its beauty. For us to be healthy, the water needs to be healthy.

Living Waters Pittsburgh is the entry point for citizens to learn about Pittsburgh’s sewersheds. It is an independent source for learning, sharing and acting among Pittsburghers working to create a healthy, high quality urban water cycle.  Here you’ll find information about the “One Water” approach. Water, in all its forms and stages, is a single resource.

Please explore the links to find the latest public information about water-related projects, as well as updates on development and community actions to improve water quality.

Why do we have so many agencies managing our water cycle?

From the late 1800’s through the mid 1900’s streams were used to dispose of waste, and they became health hazards. Slowly, laws were enacted that restricted pollution and required cleaner public waters.

First, public water suppliers were created to provide clean water supply. Then huge public infrastructure projects were completed capturing streams, sewage, and rainwater underground in pipes. Small streams began to flow under our feet. Finally, public sewage agencies were formed to limit pollution and dirty discharges back into the river. The evolution of infrastructure has led to multiple public and private agencies managing the water cycle from its source in the river, to our taps, and back again.

Pollution still flows into Pittsburgh’s rivers because sewage, rainwater, and streams all flow in our pipes. The Environmental Protection Agency requires that Pittsburgh agencies reduce that pollution. It will require full all-hands-on-deck action to bring our rivers and streams back to fishable and swimmable standards.