Water in Philadelphia is safe to drink and not impacted by the virus.
Please see the important updates below regarding our ongoing response to the COVID-19 emergency.
If you have questions, please call (215) 685-6300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PWD COVID-19 Statement: Spanish | Chinese | Vietnamese
For all other information, get updates from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and Office of Emergency Management on the City COVID-19 page.
"The safety of our customers and our employees is, as always, our highest priority. As we face this challenge as a city, the Water Department wants Philadelphians to know that losing access to water is one thing they won't have to worry about. We will not shut off customers who fall behind on payments through May 15, and we will continue to provide the critical core services that are our mission."– Commissioner Randy Hayman
Update: April 2, 2020
COVID-19 Site: As we continue to provide essential services and assess the response to the COVID-19 emergencey, updates about how our work is impacted can be found on our COVID-19 page. Thank you for following PWD.
Update: March 20, 2020
Financial relief: As a temporary measure, all penalties and late fees for water bills are suspended until further notice for Philadelphia's residential and commercial water customers. The City of Philadelphia will continue to review this decision with guidance from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.
If you lose water: We are not shutting off water for nonpayment but may have to stop flow to water mains to make emergency repairs. In the event of a water main break, customers may lose water without warning. When possible, we will give residents as much time to prepare as we can. See reported breaks here: Construction Map
Construction: All non-emergency work is suspended. We have instructed crews to make worksites safe until construction can resume. If you think an inactive construction site is hazardous, please call (215) 685-6300 and we will investigate.
Update: March 18, 2020
City services: See this blog post from the City of Philadelphia to track impacts to City services.
During a joint address with City of Philadelphia departments and agencies, Commissioner Hayman again stressed today that water is safe and not impacted by this virus and that no one will be shut off unless necessary for repairs.
Watch the address here or see his full statement below:
March 18, 2020 PWD Statement for COVID-19 Health Emergency
"The safety of our customers and our employees is, as always, our highest priority.
All necessary Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) operations will continue uninterrupted to ensure delivery of safe, clean drinking water and treatment of wastewater.
Philadelphia’s drinking water is safe to drink, and customers do not need to purchase bottled water.
PWD and our Bureau of Laboratory Services want to assure customers that the virus will not impact the safety of the city's water supply. Conventional water treatment methods, including filtration and disinfection used at all of Philadelphia’s drinking water plants, removes or inactivates the virus that causes COVID-19.
We continue to test and monitor our drinking water 24/7 to ensure the highest quality water for the residents of Philadelphia.
As we face this challenge as a city, the Water Department and the Water Revenue Bureau wants Philadelphians to know that losing access to water because they’re falling behind on their bill is one thing they won't have to worry about.
We will not shut off customers who fall behind on payments through May 15. In addition, this week we began restoring water service to customers previously shut off due to delinquent water accounts.
However, in some cases, such as water main breaks and essential infrastructure repairs, we may have to shut off flow to water mains to make repairs. When possible, we will give residents as much time to prepare as possible.
Our emergency crews and the contractors we work with will make repairs as quickly as possible to minimize the time customers are without water. If you have a plumbing emergency or receive a Notice of Defect from PWD, prepare not to have water for at least several hours and make repairs as soon as possible.
Plumbers and other private contractors are exempt from the City’s restrictions on business activity. That means if you have a plumbing issue and need to hire a contractor there are no restrictions.
Our staff is still processing applications for our interest-free emergency HELP loans, so call us if you need that or follow directions on the Notice of Defect so you can get your issue addressed as quickly as possible and keep your water flowing.
The PWD customer contact center (215) 685-6300 will be open for emergencies 24/7 or you can email us at email@example.com. Because we are using essential staff only, we ask that you only call our hotline if absolutely needed.
We won’t shut you off so most billing issues can wait, or many billing issues and questions can be handled through MyPhillyWaterBill at phila.gov/waterbill
For Water Department-only updates, see our website at phila.gov/water or check our Twitter and Facebook feeds. You’ll find us (at) @PhillyH2O Thank you to all the PWD employees who are helping the city to address this unprecedented emergency. Those who are staying home are doing their part to ensure we do everything we can to not overwhelm our health system.
Update: March 16, 2020
As City officials respond to the COVID-19 emergency, the Philadelphia Water Department is taking all necessary measures to ensure delivery of safe, clean drinking water and treatment of your wastewater.
Commissioner Hayman and PWD's Bureau of Laboratory Services also want to assure customers that the virus will not impact the safety of the city's water supply. Philadelphia’s drinking water is high-quality and safe to drink and customers do not need to purchase bottled water. International experts inform health officials that the virus has not been detected in drinking water.
Conventional water treatment methods, including filtration and disinfection used at all of Philadelphia’s drinking water plants, removes or inactivates the virus that causes COVID-19.
We continue to test and monitor our drinking water supplies 24/7 to ensure the highest quality water for the citizens of Philadelphia.
See the Environmental Protection Agency information on COVID-19 and drinking water and wastewater.
Water Department leadership is coordinating closely with City, state and federal authorities as needed.
Continued Service Under Essential Personnel Policy
"Non-essential City of Philadelphia government operations are halted, and all City government buildings will be closed to the public, effective tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, 2020. (Staff members are still expected to report to work on Tuesday, March 17, unless otherwise instructed by their supervisor.)
Beginning Wednesday, March 18, all non-essential City workers will not need to report to work. Individual department heads are currently determining what operations are essential. Employees will be receiving additional information on their status in the next 24 hours. Essential operations will include public safety, health and human services, utilities, sanitation, and payroll."
While the Water Department and all City agencies are required to be staffed by essential personnel only, all necessary operations will continue uninterrupted.
With the essential personnel policy enacted, we are working to minimize potential impacts, including longer call wait times and delayed response to water emergencies such as water main breaks.
Posted: March 13, 2020
Water Shutoffs Postponed
Beginning Monday, March 16, PWD and the Water Revenue Bureau (WRB) will work together to restore water service to all delinquent residential and commercial customers through Friday, May 15 and the restoration fee will be waived.
In addition, we will not shut off water service for delinquent residential and commercial accounts through May 15.
Updates During Emergency
For media inquires contact Laura Copeland at (215) 300-9208 or Laura.Copeland@phila.gov
Residential customers who have been shut off for meter non-compliance will also have their water service restored until May 15.
Customers that have been shut off for not repairing defects in their private plumbing will still need to make the necessary repairs to have their water restored.
We will provide updates as necessary on our website.
Events Canceled or Postponed
Out of an abundance of caution, Rain Check workshops scheduled to take place on March 18, 19, 21, 23 and 24 are canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience. Register for future workshops on the Rain Check website.
Community meetings to provide updates about Green City, Clean Waters construction projects for stormwater management are also being postponed for the time being.
Watershed cleanups planned with partners for later this spring are also likely to be impacted. Please sign up for PWD email or SMS updates for the latest information about these events.
Stormwater Grants Impacts: Deadline Moved
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PWD Stormwater Incentives team has the following updates:
- The Stormwater Grants deadline has been moved back to July 1st.
- In-person pre-application meetings are canceled. If you have a pre-application meeting scheduled, please contact the Incentives Team at PWDStormwaterCredits@phila.gov to discuss a teleconference update, cancelation or modification to your scheduled meeting.
- As the situation changes each day, the Stormwater Incentives Team will send email updates regarding team availability for project reviews. For email bulletin updates, please subscribe here.
- Due to the fast-changing updates we have, the deadlines posted on our website may be outdated. Other than deadlines, all other requirements in our Stormwater Grant Application Guide still hold for the next application deadline.