Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a draft rulemaking that proposes to change dissolved oxygen standards in the Delaware River to provide protections for aquatic life, including the federally endangered Atlantic Sturgeon.

The Philadelphia Water Department shares the goal of increasing protections and restoring our local genetically unique reproducing population of sturgeon. Toward this goal, PWD recently announced a $70 million state-of-the-art side-stream treatment facility, which will be built alongside our Southwest Water Pollution Control Plant starting in the summer of 2024.

Once constructed, this facility will remove approximately 10 percent of the City’s load of oxygen-depleting ammonia at a reasonable cost and with a relatively small environmental footprint. PWD looks forward to working with EPA and other stakeholders to understand better the threats to sturgeon, which spawn and spend the first 2-3 years of their life in the Delaware River.

Together we hope to identify additional water quality improvements that are based on sound science, technologically feasible, and, most importantly, equitable and affordable for our ratepayers.