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So Many Ways to Keep Cool in Philadelphia. Opening Hydrants? Not One of Them
Jul 13, 2017

In Philadelphia, we’re lucky to have more pools and spray grounds per resident than any other city in the U.S.

Because we have all those great, free places to cool off, there’s no reason to open fire hydrants when the weather gets hot or risk swimming in our unpredictable rivers, where drowning is always a risk.

Opening hydrants can cause a number of dangerous situations:

  • A fire hydrant opened at full pressure can cause serious bodily harm, or even death, should a child, or an adult get pushed into oncoming traffic while playing in front of the hydrant
  • Illegally opening a hydrant can break the valves and make the hydrant useless when it’s needed most—during a fire on your block
  • The huge amount of water coming out of hydrants can flood local basements and cause problems with gas and electric lines
  • Operating hydrants the wrong way can break the water mains that are under your street when not properly turned on or off

If you see a hydrant open on your block, report it right away by calling our emergency hotline at 215 685 6300.

You can find a local pool operated by Parks and Recreation, or check out one of our local spraygrounds. The City is also hosting Swim Philly events right now—free fun activities like Aqua Yoga and Aqua Zumba at local pools. Check out the Swim Philly calendar.

Not a bathing suit person? Head to a local library and cool off while checking out the wide range of free resources the Free Library of Philadelphia provides for residents.

And, as always, take advantage of the clean, top-quality water available from your tap—at less than a half a penny per gallon, it’s the best way to stay hydrated when the temps soar.

So remember: hydrants are for fire, not fun.

For more tips about staying safe in the heat, check out this great guide from the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management.

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New Help Available for Customers Struggling with Water Bills
Jun 20, 2017
The City of Philadelphia is now offering a new affordability program that reduces the cost of monthly water bills for low-income Philadelphia Water Department customers and those with special hardships.
The Tiered Assistance Program, or TAP, provides customers with significant savings by offering a set monthly bill based on their income. Applications are now available.
TAP offers many new benefits:

• Customers do not have to be behind on their bill
• Expanded eligibility—approximately 60,000 customers are now eligible
• More ways to apply: Online, in-person and by mail
• Income-based, consistent monthly bill
• Past due amounts are suspended and not enforced while customer are enrolled in the program
• Only a single application is required to be considered for several assistance programs and discounts

Struggling with your bill? Learn more or start your application.
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4th District Water Town Hall with PWD and Councilman Jones
May 02, 2017

A Water Town Hall will be held for residents of City Council’s Fourth District on Thursday, May 11th from 6 to 8 p.m. at Sharon Baptist Church, located at 3955 Conshohocken Ave.

This public forum is the second in a series of Water Town Halls for Philadelphia City Council Districts and will feature Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. and Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner Debra McCarty.

The Philadelphia Water Department wants to hear from residents about their interests, issues and concerns. This Water Town Hall is an opportunity for customers to speak directly with Water Department and Philadelphia Water Revenue Bureau staff about issues such as:

Residents can also find out about the services the Water Department provides and how they can volunteer for cleanups, become stewards of their environment, and more!

Look out for future Water Town Hall dates here and on Facebook and Twitter.

Anyone who requires special arrangements for persons with disabilities may call the Philadelphia Water Department at 215-685-6300.

Invite friends to this Town Hall on Facebook now.

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Flood Risk Management Task Force: Manayunk Public Meeting
Apr 28, 2017

Members of the Manayunk community and Philadelphia residents are invited to join City officials for a special meeting highlighting ongoing efforts to protect neighborhoods from the impacts of flooding and storms:

Thursday, May 11 at 6 PM - 8 PM
Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center
7 Lock St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19127

The talk is being hosted by the City of Philadelphia’s Flood Risk Management Task Force, a group featuring the Philadelphia Water Department and a wide range of City agencies and departments involved in flooding-related issues.

This public meeting will address questions such as:

• Why and when does Manayunk flood?

• What can residents and businesses do to better prepare themselves?

•What is the Task Force doing about flooding?

Community members and businesses are invited to join us for answers and to get a look at A Guide to Flooding in Philadelphia, a new resource providing residents with practical information about a variety of issues, from home flood-proofing to tips for safe post-storm recovery.

Read more on the Watersheds blog.

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'Crowd and the Cloud' Episode on WHYY Overlooks Free On-Demand Tests for Lead Pipes
Apr 18, 2017
The Philadelphia Water Department was recently made aware of an episode of the American Public Television series ‘The Crowd and the Cloud’ which aired on local stations and attempted to address the issue of lead sampling in Philadelphia.

PWD, a public utility operated by Philadelphia citizens to provide drinking water for more than 1.5 million residents, was never contacted by the show’s producers.

Alarmingly, the information presented contains many factual inaccuracies that may prevent customers from accessing free services PWD offers to ensure top quality water.

Because providing our customers with safe, clean drinking water is our core mission, Philadelphia does more than follow EPA and Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection (PADEP) regulations for the testing of lead in tap water.

In addition to routine water quality monitoring, source water protection, and effective water treatment that ensures the water coming into homes meets or exceeds all state and federal quality standards, we offer free on-demand testing year-round for customers with concerns about lead in their tap water.

Any customer concerned about lead should call 215-685-6300.

Our Bureau of Laboratory Services (BLS) division will schedule a visit to your home so that a sample can be collected from the tap.

If we test your tap water and find lead levels higher than 15 parts per billion (15 ppb), the City will offer help in locating possible sources of lead in your plumbing. Customers concerned about lead pipes should have a licensed plumber inspect their home plumbing to identify any potential sources of lead.  

Read more about our programs for customers with lead plumbing.
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Yellow “Water Update” Cards NOT from Philadelphia Water Department
Mar 29, 2017
The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) has received reports from some customers about yellow “Water Update” postcards being left at their homes with a message requesting further contact.

These postcards are not being issued by PWD and are a product solicitation for a privately owned company based in Delaware. Residents should call our hotline at 215-685-6300 if they have questions.

Correspondence or direct service from the PWD by mail or in person can be identified in the following ways:
• PWD logo or letterhead
• PWD identification cards
• PWD-issued uniforms
• Company vehicles with the PWD logo

See our media alert for examples. 

PWD values its relationship with the citizens of Philadelphia and we strive to keep customers informed of any instances where companies are distributing potentially confusing materials that may be designed to appear as if they are from a local utility.

Providing safe, top-quality drinking water for our 1.5 million customers is one of our highest priorities and we take this commitment very seriously.

We encourage residents view our latest Drinking Water Quality Report..
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Philadelphia Water Department Backs Bill to Increase Awareness of Lead in Plumbing
Jan 05, 2017

The Philadelphia City Council Committee on Public Health and Human Services held a hearing on November 16, 2016 to hear testimony on three lead safety bills.

The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) provided testimony in support of Bill No. 160687, which updates rules about what landlords must tell renters regarding the presence of potential hazards like lead paint to include plumbing that contains lead.

To make this information easy to access, customers can now find the November 2016 testimony and links to our lead safety programs here.

PWD Commissioner Debra A. McCarty presented the testimony and made clear the department’s commitment to educating and empowering customers when it comes to the issue of lead:

“We want our customers to understand the steps they can take to improve the quality of the drinking water in their homes. We take the safety of our customers very seriously, and drinking water quality has been and will remain a top priority for the Water Department.”

The bill includes language about rental properties where the water supply is connected to the City water main by a pipe made from lead. This pipe is called a service line, and runs from the water main in the street to the customer’s water meter, most often found in the basement. (See our fact sheet about checking for lead service lines.)

As of December, 2016, Bill No. 160687 has been referred to City Council for passage.

During the November testimony, PWD also updated City Council on its many lead safety programs and highlighted new information for residents available on the department’s website.

The official testimony submitted to City Council, without links, is available here.

Those interested in water testing, replacing lead service lines or scheduling a community presentation about lead can call 215-685-6300.

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New Winter Perks for Philly Residents Seeking Discounted Landscaping and Free Rain Barrels
Dec 22, 2016
Did you know Philadelphia residents can save money on outdoor landscaping and other green projects by signing up for our Rain Check program?

Hundreds of homes across the city have used Rain Check to build rain gardens, depave concrete patios, replace asphalt driveways with beautiful, rain-absorbing hardscape projects, and more. Thousands have also received a free rain barrel or deeply discounted downspout garden planter featuring native plants.

Right now is also the best time to get started.


By taking one of our free workshops with the Pa. Horticultural Society during January and February, you can get a jump on plans for spring greening projects and be at the front of the line when the weather warms.

We’re also offering two new incentives to encourage Rain Check participation this winter.

Learn more about our our winter offers here or head right to the Rain Check page to register for a workshop now.
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Winter Tips: Act Now to Prevent Frozen Pipes!
Dec 09, 2016
With temperatures expected to dip into the low 20s next week, now is a good time to make sure your home's plumbing is ready for winter. Leaving an outside hose on or failing to cover a drafty window near your water meter can lead to frozen or burst pipes and costly repairs.

Take a minute to check out these cold weather tips and protect your home before the deep freeze sets in!   
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Call Centers are Again Fully Operational
Nov 28, 2016
The Philadelphia Water Department and Water Revenue Bureau call centers are now fully operational following an outage yesterday. However, due to yesterday’s outage, call volume may be higher than normal. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank our customers for their patience.
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Drought Watch Declared November 23: Learn More
Oct 31, 2016
The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) declared a drought watch for the entire Delaware River basin on Wednesday, November 23.

The Philadelphia Water Department is not experiencing adverse water quality or water supply issues related to the conditions associated with a drought watch.

Since the summer, the Philadelphia Water Department, regional environmental agencies and partners have closely monitored streamflow and reservoir levels in the Delaware River basin amid below-average precipitation.

Read our full statement regarding the November 2016 drought watch declaration here.
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Public Hearing on Discounted Community Garden Stormwater Rates
Oct 25, 2016

A public hearing on proposed stormwater rates changes for Philadelphia’s community gardens will take place on Tuesday, October 25:

PWD Presentation to Rate Board
And Public Input Hearing
Tuesday, October 25, 2016,
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
100 N. 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1495 

On June 28, 2016, Mayor James F. Kenney signed an ordinance passed by Philadelphia City Council that allows community gardens a special discounted rate for stormwater services. The ordinance directs the Rate Board to establish a special discounted stormwater charge, in an amount up to and including 100%, for approved community gardens.

As a result, the Board may exempt community gardens from paying a monthly stormwater charge, as long as the gardens meet the criteria in the ordinance.

Read more about the hearing and proposed changes on our Watersheds Blog. You can also learn more about this proposal here.

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Learn About Navigation on the Schuylkill River Through Photography
Oct 05, 2016
A network of locks, dams and canals, once made the Schuylkill River a hub of transportation and commerce. The Fairmount Water Works presents Falling Waters: the Legacy of the Schuylkill Navigation, a photography exhibit that artfully documents the remaining parts of the 200 year old navigation system. 
The exhibit is free and open to the public, and runs through December 30th. Visit fairmountwaterworks.org for more information.
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Phone Issues Resolved
Sep 27, 2016
Philadelphia Water and Water Revenue Bureau have addressed the phone issues previously reported. We thank you for your patience and apologize for any inconvenience.
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Green Patches on the Schuylkill River aka Duckweed
Sep 21, 2016
The green areas on the river are Duckweed (Lemna minor), a free-floating aquatic plant. Duckweed is naturally occurring, typical to low-flow and/or stagnant water conditions, and not harmful to the health to of the river. Duckweed can have an earthy smell, however PWD has received no odor complaints.
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Duckweed can be found in healthy water bodies around the country. It is more synonymous with low flow conditions providing areas of habitat for this species to persist. Despite being churned up by the recent heavy rainfall, the Schuylkill River is healthy.

It is important to keep in mind that the Schuylkill Watershed covers a drainage area of over 1,900 square miles—most of that is above Philadelphia. Schuylkill River flows during most of this summer have been lower than normal. Over the past week, we have seen heavy rainfall saturate the watershed, increasing river flows. The heavy rain fall has flushed the duckweed from upstream tributaries and areas along the Schuylkill River down river.

The Duckweed is likely to separate as it flows over the dam and into the Delaware River. The Delaware River is a much larger river system than the Schuylkill with considerably more flow and tidal impacts. It is highly likely that the Duckweed will become more dispersed as it moves down into the Delaware River and eventually out to the bay.

Philadelphia Water Department scientists continuously monitor the rivers to ensure they are healthy and our drinking water is safe.
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Registration Open for Philly Fun Fishing Fest, September 10
Aug 16, 2016
The Philly Fun Fishing Fest will be held at Schuylkill Banks on Saturday, September 10, 2016.

This catch-and-release event is free and open to the public, with no fishing licenses needed. Bait and tackle is provided on a first-come, first-served basis for those who need it.

The fishing contest will take place from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by an 11:30 a.m. awards ceremony featuring prizes in a variety of categories. Prizes are provided by Dick’s Sporting Goods and Plano Tackle. Registration and more information can be found on the Philly Fun Fishing Fest page.
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Interest Free Loans Now Available for Lead Service Lines
Aug 08, 2016
Philadelphia Water is now offering zero-interest loans for customers who want to replace a service line made of lead.

An estimated 10 percent of Philadelphia homes may be connected to the City water main by a lead service line.

In the City of Philadelphia, water service lines are the responsibility of the homeowner. If you have a water service line made of lead, you may qualify for the Homeowner’s Emergency Loan Program (HELP).

Learn more about this program or call 215-685-4901 to see if you qualify. Leave a message with your contact information and a representative will return your call.

More information about lead pipes, including tips on finding out if you have a lead service line, is available here.

More: How to Tell If You Have a Lead Service Line
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Invite Us to Your Group to Learn About Lead
May 03, 2016

To help our customers understand risks associated with lead pipes in homes, Philadelphia Water is offering to make a presentation to any civic or community organization interested in learning more. Our biggest priority is making sure Philadelphia residents always receive top-quality drinking water.

To schedule a presentation, please email waterinfo@phila.gov or call 215-685-6300. We will work to accommodate your schedule, but please provide ample time to arrange the presentation. Philadelphia Water can also translate education materials into a variety of languages to meet the needs of your community.

See a preview of the presentation.
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Resources for Customers with Lead Plumbing
Apr 05, 2016
Does your home have a water distribution pipe made of lead? Not sure? See our page created to help customers concerned about lead in plumbing and make sure you are taking advantage of Philadelphia’s lead-free, affordable public drinking water. Get info on daily drinking water tips, testing for lead, identifying and replacing lead pipes and more. We are here to help.
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Take Part: Meet Our New Commissioner and Get the Inside Scoop on Contracting Opportunities
Mar 08, 2016
Philadelphia Water is hosting its Contractor Seminar series on March 22, 2016 at Venice Island Performing Arts Center in Manayunk from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

This special event will give contractors the opportunity to meet with Debra A. McCarty, the first woman to lead the department in its 200-year history. She was appointed Commissioner by Mayor Kenney in January.

Contractors will also learn about the City's procurement processes and will have opportunities to network with other local businesses. These seminars are designed to provide important information to contractors about Philadelphia Water contracting opportunities, including details on industry best practices, specifications on projects, and minority, women, and disabled business enterprise (“M/W/DSBE”) inclusion goals and requirements.

This seminar is highly recommended for all contractors interested in doing business with Philadelphia Water as well as businesses interested in meeting with existing prime contractors.


RSVP and Sign Up Here Now!
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Contact Us

Report a Problem:
(215) 685-6300

Billing and Account Questions:
Water Revenue Bureau
(215) 686-6880
8:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m.

Mail Payments to:
Water Revenue Bureau
P.O. Box 41496
Philadelphia, PA 19101-1496

Please visit the Water Revenue Bureau website for in-person bill pay locations.