Sewer System and Water Department
There are three types of sewers in the City of Philadephia. Some carry
household and industrial waste only, some carry stormwater runoff, and
some carry both.
Material in the Philadelphia sewer system flows by gravity to three different
sewers were round and made of brick. The construction process was slow
and tedious because the main pipes were built completely by hand. Today,
sewers are laid out in rectangular concrete sections. The sections are
laid end-to-end and sealed together.
Doctors recommend that everyone drink at least eight glasses of water
Drinking water for Philadelphia and surrounding areas comes from the
Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers. The Philadelphia Water Department produces
about 300 million gallons of high-quality drinking water every day. PWD's
water service area covers 130 square miles.
At the end of the treatment process, Fluoride and Ammonia are added to
the water. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay, and Ammonia helps reduce
the chlorine-like tastes.
Since the Clean Drinking Water Act was passed in the mid 1970s, the
Philadelphia Water Department has met or exceeded every governemnt recommended
level for water quality.
Philadelphia Water Figures (2000)
|Total miles of water main
|Water main breaks
|Most breaks per month
||202 - January
|Least breaks per month
||22 - April
|Wastewater service area
||360 square miles (130 city + 230 suburban)
|Total wastewater population
||about 2.3 million people
|Total miles of sewers
Philadelphia Water Department
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(Safe Drinking Water Hotline) 800-426-4791
Schuylkill River Source Water Assessment