On December 13th, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) hosted a virtual public presentation highlighting a planned facility adjacent to the existing Southwest Philadelphia Water Pollution Control Plant that will help improve water quality in the Delaware River. 

Project background: 

As part of efforts to reduce the amount of ammonia discharged to the Delaware River, PWD is proposing the construction of a sidestream treatment facility to reduce the ammonia load being received by the Southwest Water Pollution Control Plant (SWWPCP). This will subsequently reduce the amount of ammonia discharged to the Delaware River. The proposed sidestream treatment facility will satisfy PWD’s voluntary commitment to the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) to implement an early action item that will provide an improvement to instream dissolved oxygen levels in the Delaware River. 

The proposed facility would be within the vicinity of the SWWPCP and the adjacent Biosolids Recycling Center (BRC), which PWD owns, in Southwest Philadelphia. The BRC receives and processes anaerobically digested sludge from all three of PWD’s wastewater treatment plants and produces dewatering centrate, an ammonia-rich stream of water collected from the dewatering centrifuges, that is conveyed to the SWWPCP. The ammonia in the centrate accounts for 20 to 30 percent of the total influent ammonia load to the SWWPCP and will be reduced by approximately 75 percent.

PWD is currently seeking support from the state’s PENNVEST fund to help finance the project and does not anticipate a significant impact on user fees as a result of this project.

Public Comment:

The public can submit comments through January 15 by sending an email to waterinfo@phila.gov or by mail to the below address: 

Philadelphia Water Department
5th Floor – Attn: Brian Rademaekers
1101 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107