Early on the morning of July 25th, at approximately 12:30 am, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) was called to the intersection of 6th and Bainbridge for reports of a large, 30” water main break. Our crews arrived on scene at approximately 1:00 am and began the work to shut down the water main.

Over the next several hours, multiple PWD employees began arriving on scene to begin the initial damage assessment, and to meet with homeowners and businesses that were impacted. PWD staff from our Public Affairs and Customer Field Service units, as well as our Emergency and Pump crews, knocked on doors, or spoke to those who were awake and allowed us to enter their homes to investigate.

This activity will continue until we reach all customers who were impacted by this break. Starting later today, PWD will be hiring crews to clean and dry out basements. Before those crews can begin, the water must first be removed from your basement, and PWD Pump crews will do their best to visit every property that has water to be pumped out.

If you receive this letter after returning home from vacation, or were not around during our visits, please call PWD’s Customer Field Service Unit at 215-685-9652, or 9651, and we will have someone work with you to address your issues. Later today, and in the following days, you will also have the opportunity to meet PWD’s Claims staff, and they will walk you through the claims process. You may also call our Customer Contact Center, 215-685-6300 and someone will put a ticket in for you as well for a visit.

While we understand that no one is ever prepared for an emergency of this magnitude, we ask for your patience and understanding while we work to address the concerns of all of those impacted by this break. We will provide updates on the repair schedule and any information that is relevant as it becomes available to us. We will begin our assessment as soon as we can safely do so. Therefore, at this time it is too early to provide any definitive information.

I will be on site today and in the coming days to meet with those neighbors who have questions and concerns, and to provide you with valuable information to walk you through this process. Please feel free to email me at John.DiGiulio@phila.gov if you have any questions that I may be able to answer when I’m not on site as well.


John DiGiulio
Community Relations Manager
Philadelphia Water Department

6th and Bainbridge Water Main Break (PDF)