The Philadelphia Water Department strives for sustainable utility operations to ensure that we are capable of meeting the social, economic and environmental demands of a 21st Century water utility.

Ecological Restoration Reports

Fluvial Geomorphology Reports The purpose of the Fluvial Geomorphology (FGM) Stream Assessment Reports is to provide PWD, local watershed partnership groups, and other stakeholder parties with an analysis and summary of the Philadelphia watersheds’ existing physical conditions, inclusive of both stream networks and riparian corridors. Specifically, the goals of these assessments are to provide: The […]

Ecological Restoration Tools

Natural Stream Channel Design A holistic approach to stream restoration is necessary to ensure the successful return of lost stream functions to impaired streams. An impaired stream is one that cannot support diverse aquatic life and discharges significant sediment loads from its banks during storm flow events. The stream channel should be designed to accommodate […]

Ecological Restoration

Historic development practices have altered natural stream patterns and degraded riparian ecosystems. We are now “working with nature” to implement stream restoration projects that bring back ecosystem functions and protect critical water and sewer infrastructure along the stream corridor.


Although research is still being conducted on the health effects of microplastics, PWD is proactively addressing the occurrence of these tiny particles in our waterways. About Microplastics Plastics are everywhere in our lives, found all over the world in everything from bottles and bags to makeup and clothing. Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic, often […]

PFAS Management

PFAS are a group of long-lasting, human-made chemicals found everywhere in the environment. PWD is committed to ensuring PFAS levels in drinking water are below all state and federal regulations. The information contained herein is dated as of March 2023 and is subject to change without notice.  The Philadelphia Water Department undertakes no obligation to […]

Philly RiverCast

Philly RiverCast is a web-based hourly water quality forecast tool that predicts potential levels of bacteria in the non-tidal Schuylkill River between Flat Rock Dam in Manayunk and the Fairmount Dam.

Harmful Algal Blooms

Cyanobacteria, once known as blue-green algae, can be found in lakes, rivers, and streams as part of the natural biota. They have similar characteristics as algae and can grow on the water’s surface as a visual bloom or below the water’s surface, attached to submerged materials such as water plants or on the bottom sediment. […]

Marcellus Shale Drilling

This page contains information from the Philadelphia Water Department about natural gas drilling in the the Delaware River Basin.

Climate Change Adaptation

As a leader among water, wastewater and stormwater utilities, PWD employs innovative technologies, leading research and adaptive management strategies to ensure high levels of safety and service. It is our obligation to prepare for the impacts of climate change and we are committed to working with the Office of Sustainability, other city agencies, partners, stakeholders, […]

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