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City of Philadelphia

About Philadelphia Water

The Water Department, which began water service in the 1800’s, supplies water and wastewater services (which includes stormwater services ) to customers within the City and has one wholesale water contract and ten wholesale wastewater contracts with entities outside the City. Based on the 2018 U.S. Census Bureau estimate, the served 1,584,138 individuals.


The primary mission of the Philadelphia Water Department is to plan for, operate, and maintain both the infrastructure and the organization necessary to purvey high quality drinking water, to provide an adequate and reliable water supply for all household, commercial, and community needs, and to sustain and enhance the region’s watersheds and quality of life by managing wastewater and stormwater effectively. In fulfilling its mission, the utility seeks to be customer-focused, delivering services in a fair, equitable, and cost-effective manner, with a commitment to public involvement. Having already served the City and region for nearly two centuries, the utility’s vision for the future includes an active role in the economic development of Greater Philadelphia and a legacy of environmental stewardship.

Philadelphia Water, Wastewater & Stormwater System

  • Our water service area is 130 square miles. The City obtains approximately 57% of its water from the Delaware River and the balance from the Schuylkill River. The Samuel S. Baxter Plant is on the Delaware River. The Belmont and Queen Lane Plants are on the Schuylkill River.
  • The combined rated treatment capacity of these plants is 546 million gallons per day (MGD).
  • The combined maximum source water withdraw capacity from the two rivers that supply these plants is 680 MGD. The excess source water capacity enables higher than normal withdrawal on either river should conditions limit the withdrawal from one river.
  • The storage capacity for treated and untreated water in the combined plant and distribution system totals 1,065.5 million gallons.
  • PWD provides up to 35 MGD of water to Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority.
  • Our wastewater service area totals 360 square miles. 130 square miles are in the City and 230 square miles are in suburban areas.
  • The wastewater system consists of three water pollution control plants , 21 pumping stations, approximately 3,657 miles of sewers, and a privately managed centralized biosolids handling facility.
  • The wastewater system has effectively and significantly improved the water quality of the Delaware River, thereby fostering both public and private development of the riverfront for commercial, residential, and recreational use.

Water Revenue Bureau

The Water Revenue Bureau was created in October 1959, to handle most aspects of the water and sewer billing operation including creating bills and collecting payments.

Billing and Accounts

The Water Revenue Bureau (WRB) handles most aspects of the water and sewer billing, including creating bills and collecting payments for Philadelphia Water Department customers. Please visit WRB's site for more information on topics such as: