PhILS banner
Agency level banner

Water, Department of

[Record group 91]
Alternative/Former Names
Water, Bureau of;
Filtration, Bureau of

Agency home page.
Agency Function
The Water Department's mission is to efficiently produce and deliver up to 680 million gallons of water daily which is adequate in quality, pressure and volume to serve the City of Philadelphia for potable water and fire protection. On the wastewater side of the utility, it is the Department's mission to collect, treat and dispose of wastewater and stormwater in compliance with all environmental regulations.

Agency History
Prior to 1799 the City's only role in the provision of a water supply was its regulation of pumps. In that year City Councils appointed a body of Commissioners to sell stock in a series of loans and to oversee the construction and operation of a pumping station and system of distribution. In 1809, the Commissioners were abolished and the direction of the works was shared by the Mayor and a committee of Councils; in 1835, the committee was given sole charge of its operations. At the consolidation of the City and County in 1854 a Water Department was established under the direction of a Chief Engineer appointed by Councils and it eventually assumed control of the water systems of the districts and boroughs that had been incorporated into the City. (Records of the Germantown Water Company listed below were acquired in this manner in 1865.) In 1887, in accordance with the Bullitt Bill, the Department was placed under the supervision of the Department of Public Works as the Bureau of Water. In 1907, the Bureau of Filtration, established within the Department of Public Works under an ordinance approved on 18 July 1902 to plan for the extension and improvement of the water supply, was merged with the Bureau of Water. The Department of Public Works was abolished under the terms of the City Charter adopted in 1951 and the Bureau of Water erected into a separate Department of Water.

Archival Records
91.1 Annual Reports (1856-1899, 1901, 1904-1913, 1915-1917, 1919-1923, 1943-1969, FY 1970-FY1978, FY1980-FY1982, FY1985-FY1987, FY1989, FY1993)

91.2 Papers (1855-1908, 1970)

91.3 Water Pollution Control Plants. Annual Reports (1967, 1971)

91.4 Accident Prevention Program. Annual Report (1966)

91.5 Financial Statement (1960-1963)

91.6 Water Rent Assessments for Establishments Using Large Quantities (1864)

91.7 Rain Gauge Record (1884-1910; missing 1885-1886, 1890, 1894-1895, 1898, 1901, 1903-1906, 1908-1909)

91.8 Record of Pumpage (1898)

91.9 Iron Water Pipe Laid (1819-1896)

91.10 Log Book, Public Complaints (1943-1946)

91.11 Repairs Record (1882)

91.12 Purveyors' Reports of Streets Requiring Repaving (ca. 1887)

91.13 Maps (1876-?)

91.14 Filtration, Bureau of: Annual Report (1904)

91.15 Filtration, Bureau of: Papers (1900-1904)

91.16 Filtration, Bureau of: Accounts Ledger (1900-1907)

91.17 Germantown Water Company. Accounts Ledger (1857-1865)

91.18 Germantown Water Company. Consumers' Accounts (1861-1867)

91.19 Germantown Water Company. Day Book (1856-1859)

91.20 Germantown Water Company. Stock and Transfer Book (1851-1864)

91.21 Frankford Creek Flood Control Project. Plans (1956)

91.22 Reports and Publications (1861, 1898, 1909, 1914, 1957-1958, 1960-1962, 1965-1968, 1970-1973)

91.23 Time Books (March 1875-June 1904; missing August 1875, October 1875, March 1877-July 1887, August 1898-June 1900.)

91.24 Patronage Appointment Books (1875-1876, 1879)

91.25 Warrant Books (20 November 1854 - 3 October 1864)

91.26 Order Books (12 July 1859 - 29 July 1861)

91.27 Fairmount Pumping Station. Engineer's Daily Report (January 1886-July 1909)

91.28 Fairmount Pumping Station. Stores Received and Expended (January 1886 - January 1890)

91.29 Biennial Reports (1968-1975)

91.30 Reports and Publications Received (1947, 1957, 1960, 1963)

91.31 Water Pollution Control Division. Annual Report (1966-1969, FY1970-FY1971, FY 1980)

91.32 Sewage Operations. Annual Report (1964)

91.33 Deputy Commissioner for Sewage Operations. Files (1953-1963)

91.34 Plans of the Water Mains of the Philadelphia Suburban Water Company in Oak Lane. (1904-1925)

91.35 Water Treatment Section. Annual Report (1979)

Current Records
91.a Accounting Division / Billing Transcripts - Residential

91.aa Collections Division / Informal Hearing Files

91.ab Customer Service Division / Adjustments to Customer Accounts Customer Service Division / Customer Complaint Records Customer Service Division / Customer Assistance Programs Customer Service Division / Private Grant Funded Programs Customer Service Division / Tenant Records Meter Reading Division / Daily Meter Reading Reports

91.ah Meter Reading Division / Phone Captured Meter Readings

91.b Accounting Division / Billing Transcripts - Commercial

91.c Accounting Division / Billing Computation Proof Listing - Residential

91.d Accounting Division / Billing Computation Proof Listing - Commercial

91.e Accounting Division / Billing Adjustment Records

91.f Accounting Division / Payment Receipts

91.g Accounting Division / Billing Adjustment Transmittal

91.h Accounting Division / Detailed Payment Listings

91.i Accounting Division / Payment Summaries

91.j Accounting Division / Accounts Support Data

91.k Accounting Division / Customer Name and Address Changes

91.l Accounting Division / Customer Account Statistical Changes

91.m Accounting Division / Accounts Receivable Reconciliation

91.n Accounting Division / Account Status Requests

91.o Accounting Division / Water Meter Reading Records

91.p Accounting Division / Water Billing Information

91.q Collections Division / Tax Review Board Files

91.r Collections Division / Customer Account Code Changes

91.s Collections Division / Collection Activity Data

91.t Collections Division / Sheriff Sales

91.u Collections Division / Payroll Deduction

91.v Collections Division / Medical Emergency Program

91.w Collections Division / Judicial Collection Activity

91.z Collections Division / Informal Hearing Files

Click on a folder or file to return to that level...
PhILS Home
City Agencies
Current Agency Information Sheet. (Text-only version of this page)

Send your comments to
Last updated on November 8, 2000