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City of Philadelphia

News

Green City, Clean Waters Marks 10 Years
Apr 14, 2021
A decade in, how is Philly is benefitting from investments making local waterways cleaner and neighborhoods greener? Green City, Clean Waters at 10
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Rate Change Hearings in March
Mar 17, 2021
Facing financial impacts from the pandemic and costs that were rising even before the crisis, we filed a formal request for a rate change last month. 

If approved, water bills for residential customers would increase by 11.6% in September 2021 and 5.3% the following September. For a typical resident using 3,740 gallons a month, the bill would be $78.45 after the full increase.

The Philadelphia Water Department is a public, not-for-profit utility. All of our revenue is collected through water bills. Your bill supports infrastructure improvements and the delivery of essential services.

Without new rates, we will not have the revenue needed to meet legal and operating requirements.

Aging infrastructure, including a 6,800-mile network of water mains and sewers, needs immediate investment to ensure the integrity of essential water and wastewater systems.

Coming Up: Public Input Hearings

Four virtual public input hearings are set as part of a transparent rate-setting process: 
  • Tuesday, March 16: 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 18: 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Zoom links, instructions for joining the hearings, and information for submitting written comments can be found on the Rate Board site.
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Shutoff Freeze: Residents Protected Until April 2022
Mar 08, 2021
The Philadelphia Water Department is again extending a freeze on shutoffs for residential customers, protecting those account holders from losing water services until April 2022.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 70,000 customers have benefitted from shutoff protection. Another 15,000 previously shut off customers had water restored at the start of the pandemic.

What to Know:

  • No shutoffs for residential customers until April 2022.
  • For customers enrolled in the Tiered Assistance Program or Senior Citizen Discount program, there will be no penalties or enforcement measures until April 1, 2022.
  • For customers not in these assistance programs, penalties for overdue water bills start on May 1, 2021.
  • Enforcement measures, including referrals to collection agencies, will go into effect August 2, 2021.
  • Some non-residential accounts could face shutoff enforcement starting summer 2021, and efforts to make payment arrangements with those customers are underway.
Any customer struggling to pay should explore customer assistance options.

Philadelphia created one of the nation’s first income- and hardship-based affordability programs, and ways to get help have been expanded in response to the pandemic: Many Ways to Get Water Bill Help in Philadelphia
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Extreme cold: Prepare for water emergencies, frozen pipes
Feb 08, 2021
Whenever below-freezing temperatures are forecasted for more than 48 hours in a row, customers should protect their pipes from freezing and be prepared for potential water main breaks:
If you see water in the street or believe there is a main break, call (215) 685 6300 right away. Follow @PhillyH2O on Twitter for more.
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Grants from State Help Philly Fund Big Pollution Control Projects
Jan 26, 2021
The Philadelphia Water Department is moving forward on a big-ticket, sustainable infrastructure project unlike any seen since federal funding helped the city expand wastewater treatment and meet new Clean Water Act standards in the 1980s.

Construction of the new $100 million preliminary treatment building was green-lighted thanks to a low-interest loan awarded by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority’s PENNVEST program. Read more about how this facility and an another green project in Lawncrest will keep billions of gallons of pollution out of our waterways each year: Philly Awarded $107M in Clean Water Infrastructure
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Protecting Customers During COVID Lockdown
Oct 09, 2020
Due to ongoing economic hardship created by the COVID-19 pandemic:
  • We will not shut off customers unable to pay water bills until April 1st, 2021
  • Penalties and fees on delinquent accounts are waived until further notice.
However, your past-due total will continue to grow with each missed payment. Don't wait until you have a big debt and shutoffs resume this spring. Call (215) 685-6300 or go to our assistance page page right away to learn about:
  • Discounted rates through assistance programs, now available to more people than ever
  • New and expanded payment agreement options with lower down payments and extended repayment periods of up to five years
  • Debt forgiveness for those who qualify
See options for help paying water bills here.
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See Our Statement on the Dangers of Swimming in Philadelphia
Jul 29, 2020
Because of the health and safety concerns that come with swimming and any recreation that involves immersion in water, the Philadelphia Water Department does not recommend swimming in any river or creek in Philadelphia.

In response to efforts to change the current recreation status of the Delaware River to allow for swimming within the city, we issued a statement outlining our reasons for maintaining the existing recreation uses and answered common questions surrounding this topic.

Please see our statement and more information about safety issues related to recreation in Philadelphia's segment of the Delaware River: 

Recreation in Philadelphia's Waterways: What to Know
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COVID-19 Impacts on PWD Capital Program
Jul 22, 2020
Due to the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philadelphia Water Department is postponing many capital projects for the foreseeable future.

Read the full statement
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COVID-19 Update: Drinking Water Is Safe, Won't Be Shut off
Mar 13, 2020
The Philadelphia Water Department is taking all necessary measures to ensure continued delivery of safe drinking water and wastewater treatment services as City officials respond to the COVID-19 emergency.

We have suspended water shutoffs and are waiving fees. To avoid loss of water due to main replacement, we have also suspended new construction. 

Please see the full statement regarding our efforts to ensure continued delivery of services and info about canceled events and deadlines here.

Signup for PWD SMS/text or Email Alerts
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$100 Raffle: Take 2020 Phila. Water Dept. Survey
Feb 12, 2020
The Philadelphia Water Dept. 2020 Survey is now open. Any city resident 18+ is encouraged to take the quick survey and enter the $100 gift card raffle. The survey is an important tool that helps the City track satisfaction with the water provided and other services.  Take our survey for the chance to win a $100 gift card. Tome nuestra encuesta para tener la oportunidad de ganar una tarjeta de regalo de $1002020-survey-gov
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Read the PWD Position Statement on the Environmental Working Group’s PFAS Report
Jan 22, 2020
The subject of national attention due to concerns about potential health impacts, PFAS is a family of substances that have been widely used for decades in industry and consumer goods. We take protecting the water we provide to residents of Philadelphia, including our own families and neighbors, seriously. Please see our information on managing these substances and our response to the Environmental Working Group's January 2020 report here: Read the PWD's statement
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Drinking Water Master Plan Released
May 14, 2019
The Philadelphia Water Department recently completed Drinking Water Master Plan. For the first time, residents can see a 25-year, $2.5 billion strategic vision for upgrading and expanding Philadelphia’s core infrastructure and protecting the top-quality water we depend on well into the next century. Read the Plan. 
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The latest Philadelphia Water Department Drinking Water Quality Report is now available online here.
Apr 30, 2019
Based on data collected by the department’s Bureau of Laboratory Services throughout 2018, the annual report details test results showing Philadelphia’s drinking water meets or is better than all state and federal water quality standards.

In addition to viewing or downloading the report over the web, residents can request a free copy in the mail by contacting us at waterquality@phila.gov or (215) 685-6300.

View the 2018 Drinking Water Quality Report
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Tell us what you think about Phila. water + have a shot a $100
Feb 01, 2019
For the fourth year, the Philadelphia Water Department is conducting a comprehensive customer satisfaction survey to collect feedback on a range of services.

Residents and customers who take the five-minute survey at www.pwdsurvey.com will automatically take part in a raffle for $100 gift cards. The survey can also be accessed by texting @water to 39242.

“As a department, we work tirelessly to protect our waterways, manage stormwater and ensure that our customers have around-the-clock access to top-quality water,” says Commissioner Debra McCarty. “We know that delivering these essential services is incredibly important to the health of our city, and the goal of this survey is to check in with our customers to better understand how the work we do is being perceived and what we can do to improve.”

The 2019 Customer Feedback Survey, made possible through a partnership with the University of Pennsylvania, measures public opinion and allows the department to gauge what people in Philadelphia think about PWD and the services it provides.
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Inspection of water main break location for S. Juniper and Sansom
Aug 16, 2018
All parties, their representatives, and experts interested in examining the break location should contact Brendan Reilly to schedule. The site is available for inspection on the following dates: August 17th, 18th and 20th. Brendan's contact information is:
Brendan F. Reilly
Water Conveyance Chief
Philadelphia Water Department

To view project updates visit our notifications page
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Crews Respond to Large Center City Main Break
Jul 03, 2018
At approximately 4 a.m., the Philadelphia Water Department was alerted to a water main break at Sansom and Juniper streets. The break occurred on a 48-inch transmission main, which supplies water to a large section of South Philadelphia and Center City.

A PWD info tent will be located at 13th and Sansom streets on Thursday, July 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. PWD claims representatives and Public Affairs staff will be available

Read our blog for more updates.

Next Steps:
  • Cleanup to restore impacted streets and get businesses back into business
  • Cave-in location made safe
  • Assess impact to other utilities and sewer
  • Repair damaged infrastructure 
  • Restore street
  • Too early to provide a time estimate for this work
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New Report on Philadelphia Drinking Water Quality Released
Jun 07, 2018

The latest Philadelphia Water Department Drinking Water Quality Report is now available online here

Based on data collected by the department’s Bureau of Laboratory Services throughout 2017, the annual report details test results showing Philadelphia’s drinking water meets or is better than all state and federal water quality standards.

In addition to viewing or downloading the 23-page report over the web, residents can request a free copy in the mail by contacting us at waterquality@phila.gov or (215) 685-6300.

View the Drinking Water Quality Report

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Rate Change Public Hearings Set Through May 2
Apr 23, 2018

Customers, elected officials, and the Water Rate Board were recently informed that we need to raise the rates charged for our services. Increased rates will ensure we have the resources needed to better maintain one of the oldest water systems in the country.

As part of a rate-setting process that puts a priority on transparency, we are holding official Public Input Hearings across the city.

These hearings are held with the Water Rate Board, an independent five-member board created by voters to oversee rate changes. For new rates to be set, the department must show the board that the increase is justified.

Any testimony made by residents at hearings will become part of the public record.

Learn more about the rate increase and why we're requesting it here, and check out the full schedule of upcoming hearings here.


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Rate Change Needed to Replace and Maintain Critical, Aging Infrastructure
Mar 14, 2018
The Philadelphia Water Department today filed a notice of proposed changes in rates. Updated rates are being requested so that we have the resources needed to better maintain more than 6,000 miles of water mains and sewers within one of the oldest water systems in the country.

This past winter season was especially challenging, with 625 water main breaks in just over three months.

The rate changes must be approved by the independent Water, Sewer and Stormwater Rate Board. This involves providing documentation showing the rates are fair and justified.

In the coming months, we will testify before the board at technical and public hearings. Customers are encouraged to participate by attending the public hearings and providing input.    

Hearing dates and locations are listed here.  

Read the full announcement here to see how your bill could be impacted.

Customers are also encouraged to view a detailed information package explaining how rates are used and why the increase is needed.

If you are concerned about paying for water, learn more about new programs that can help many customers get lower bills that stay the same each month by visiting our customer assistance page or calling (215) 685-6300. 
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PWD submits comments on DRBC Natural Gas Regulations
Mar 05, 2018
The Philadelphia Water Department provided comments to the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) on amendments to its Administrative Manual, Special Regulations Part 440 and supporting guidance regarding high volume hydraulic fracturing activities in the Delaware River Basin. Read the Comments.
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Contact Us

Report a Problem:
(215) 685-6300

Billing and Account Questions:
Water Revenue Bureau
(215) 685-6300
8:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m.
wrbhelpdesk@phila.gov


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.