Community Events

What's with the Requested Rate Change? 9 Ways to Learn More, Get Involved

Customers, City Council, Mayor Kenney, and the Water Rate Board were recently informed that we need to raise rates. Increased rates will ensure we have the resources we need to better maintain one of the oldest water systems in the country.

As a part of the process—and to promote transparency—we are holding seven Public Input Hearings across the city. These hearings are held with the Water Rate Board, an independent body created by voters to oversee any rate changes. Any testimony made by residents will become part of the public record.

You can find a list of meeting locations, dates and times on the Rate Board site.

We encourage our customers to get involved in the process by attending a hearing and viewing our detailed breakdown of how rates could change and what they fund, available here.

Did you know? When we request a rate change, we must show that the increase is justified and needed. If the Rate Board thinks we didn’t show we truly need more revenue, they can lower the increase to an amount below what we requested or refuse to raise rates at all.

Where Your Bill Goes: Behind the Scenes
In addition to the Public Input Hearings, we will host two upcoming Water Open House events at two big facilities—the Baxter Water Treatment Plant on the Delaware River and the Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant.

While not part of the official rate-setting process, these events are designed to show you what your water bill helps pay for. Because we are a not-for-profit, cost of service public utility, all the funds that make 24/7 access to clean water possible come from the monthly water bills sent to Philadelphia residents.

Every PWD employee lives in the city, too, and that means our paying customers include the nearly 2,000 people working to ensure our pipes and plants are doing their job, protecting our rivers and bringing top-quality water to homes and businesses around the clock.

The Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant event will take place on Saturday, April 14 and the Baxter event will take place on Saturday, April 21. In addition to the open houses, expert-guided tours will be offered at each plant. Space for the tours is limited, so RSVP now.

Not sure which one you want to see? The April 14 event will show you how we treat wastewater from homes and streets to protect our rivers; the April 21 event at Baxter will show you how we turn raw river water into top-quality tap that meets or beats state and federal quality standards. All Philly residents with a valid ID are welcome at both. 

Those who attend will get a behind the scenes look at everything needed to deliver safe water and protect our rivers.

Participants can also:

  • Hear from Commissioner Debra McCarty, the first woman to lead PWD in its 200-year history.
  • Talk to Water Revenue experts and learn how we help customers save.
  • Meet some of the nation’s most-trusted water quality scientists, plant operators and more.
  • Learn how our city is leading the way with Green City, Clean Waters, America’s first large-scale green stormwater infrastructure program.

RSVP now!

We owe Philly's Clean Water Champions 1,000 (Green) Thank Yous

RSVP now for an Oct. 12 celebration marking 1000 Greened Acres. Come to City Hall from 6 to 830 p.m.

You're invited to celebrate...

1,000 Greened Acres.

Can you soak that in? Philly has created one thousand Greened Acres.

Yes, it’s impressive … but you want to know the best part? YOU did it: One rain garden, one Rain Check workshop and one Soak It Up Adoption cleanup at a time, Philly’s community groups, residents, businesses, institutions and Green City, Clean Waters partners made it possible to mark this milestone achievement—1,000 Greened Acres.

On Oct. 12 at City Hall, Mayor Jim Kenney, City officials and the Philadelphia Water Department will recognize you and all the other green champions who laid the foundation for Green City, Clean Waters and worked with us to achieve cleaner waterways for all Philadelphians.
Let us know if you'll be there + invite friends:

RSVP now for an Oct. 12 celebration marking 1000 Greened Acres. Come to City Hall from 6 to 830 p.m.

Thanks to your support and hard work, the green tools spread throughout our neighborhoods are soaking up nearly 28 million gallons of stormwater every time Philly gets an inch of rain.

During a typcial year of weather, that adds up to more than 1.6 billion gallons of polluted water being kept out of our rivers and creeks.

It’s a big step, but we're just getting started. To reach our goal of building 9,500+ Greened Acres and reducing sewer overflows by 85 percent by 2036, we'll need strong community advocates and green champions like you more than ever.

That’s why we want you to join us in the City Hall Courtyard: Philly can do it—but not without YOU!

Love Your Park: Celebrate the Green Spaces Protecting Your Water

From the very beginning, the Fairmount Park system has been an important tool for protecting Philadelphia’s rivers and streams, and to read the history of our park system is to read a story of city planners striving to create natural buffers to protect rivers and streams from industry and development.

Rather than evolving away from that original purpose, our parks are today actually becoming more and more important for protecting the city’s seven watersheds.

As Philadelphians gather for Love Your Park Week—a celebration of our green spaces involving more than 80 volunteer service days and 40-plus special events in parks across Philadelphia from May 13-21—many of them will be tending to Parks and Recreation facilities that now feature special green tools created through the Green City, Clean Waters program.

The Philadelphia Water Department’s partnership with Parks and Recreation has been essential in achieving the ambitious goals of Green City, Clean Waters: drastically reducing pollution from runoff and sewer overflows through the creation of green infrastructure systems that soak up water from storms while creating new green spaces in our neighborhoods.

In 2016, Philadelphia celebrated the program’s fifth year and the fact that we’re exceeding greening and water quality targets set back when PWD proposed the nation’s first large-scale green stormwater infrastructure program.

Without the robust support of Parks and Recreation, the Fairmount Park Conservancy and groups like the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the Trust for Public Land, that might not be the case.

What’s Going on with Green City, Clean Waters in South Philly West of Broad?

Point Breeze residents attend a Rain Check workshop and learn about local Green City, Clean Waters projects on Aug. 24, 2016.
Point Breeze residents attend a Rain Check workshop and learn about local Green City, Clean Waters projects on Aug. 24, 2016.

Last night, we highlighted some of our local Green City, Clean Waters projects at a Rain Check workshop in Point Breeze. Residents were able to sign up for a free rain barrel or take steps to get reduced-cost green tools for their home, including downspout planters and rain-absorbing pavement.

Amanda Krakovitz, a member of the AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America) program who is working with Philadelphia Water to engage communities around Green City, Clean Waters investments, provided information about area projects designed to improve local streets and parks while managing stormwater runoff.

For those who missed the meeting but want to learn about some of the local Green City, Clean Waters projects proposed or in the works, we’re providing a quick look at our South Philly projects west of Broad Street below.
You can also register for upcoming Rain Check workshops here.

Registration for the 2014 Spokesdog Competition is Now Open!

The 2013 Spokesdog winner, Josie from Fitler Square

The Spokesdog Competition is back! This time, we’re looking for super-star dogs in Juniata and Lower Moyamensing neighborhoods to help educate pet owners and bark-buddies about the importance of picking up after their pets to keep our waterways clean.

The top dog will be asked to make an appearance at community events throughout the year and will be featured in promotional materials. The top three contenders will receive prize packages consisting of toys, treats and grooming.
Do you think your dog has Spokesdog potential? Enter your pooch into the Philly Water’s 2014 Spokesdog Competition.

Special Screening of GreenTrek’s Green City, Clean Waters Film

Whatever the weather may bring, GreenTreks will officially kick-off Spring on Thursday, March 20th with a special viewing of their 30 minute film, Green City, Clean Waters. PWD worked with GreenTreks to develop a movie that tells the story of our efforts to clean up waterways by transforming the cityscape. The movie explains the pollution challenges we face and the reasons for our green infrastructure solution. Following the screening, experts will share their experiences in getting students, local residents and businesses involved in improving our waterways and making Philly a healthier place.

The event is free, but to make sure you don’t miss out, reserve your seats!

Fishin' Around

Ever wonder what kinds of fish are fishin’ around in the Schuylkill River? Take a peek into the underwater world at the Fairmount Water Works’ lab to learn how fish can be biological indicators of the health of the river. Participants will discover that understanding the river’s ecosystem can help us provide safe and high quality tap water. After the lesson, participants can practice the traditional Japanese art form of Gyotaku (fish printing).

Science Saturday events will be held at the Fairmount Water Works every Saturday this March from 2pm-4pm every half hour.

To learn more about this Science Saturday and other exciting things going on at the Fairmount Water Works, read their latest newsletter.

Deadline Extension for Green City, Clean Water’s Art Contest!

The Partnership for Delaware Estuary has extended the deadline for the Green City, Clean Waters Art Contest. The new deadline for submissions is now March 7, 2014.

The art contest gives students in grades K-12 the opportunity to participate in Green City, Clean Waters by challenging them to create a drawing and/or video showing others how to stop polluted water from entering local storm drains.

The first place winner of each grade group will see their artwork digitally enhanced, enlarged and placed on streets in the City to act as visual reminders that only rain should go down the storm drain (not pollution!). Winning drawings will also be made into advertisements and used on SEPTA buses. Winning videos will be featured on the Partnership for Delaware Estuary, Philadelphia Water Department, and Fairmount Water Works websites. Additionally, winning individuals and teams will have the chance to win gift cards of up to $100 in value, a variety of art supplies for their schools, framed certificates, and a contest calendar featuring their artwork. Teachers of winning students will each receive $50 gift cards.

Click here to learn more about the art contest and to see last year’s winners.

Green City, Clean Water’s Art Contest

Image: 11 grade winner from last year's competition, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary

The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary is now accepting entries on behalf of the Philadelphia Water Department for its Green City, Clean Waters Art Contest! Students in grades K-12 can participate by creating a drawing and/or video showing others how to stop polluted water from entering local storm drains.

The first place winner of each grade group will see their artwork digitally enhanced and enlarged to be placed in the streets of Philadelphia to act as a visual reminder that only rain should go down the storm drain. Winning drawings will also be made into advertisements and used on SEPTA buses. Winning videos will be featured on the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Philadelphia Water Department Office of Watersheds, and Fairmount Water Works websites. Additionally, winning individuals and teams will have the chance to win gift cards of up to $100 in value, a variety of art supplies for their schools, framed certificates, and a contest calendar featuring their artwork. Teachers of winning students will each receive $50 gift cards.

But hurry! The deadline for submissions is fast approaching! All drawings and videos must be received by February 28, 2014.

Click here to learn more about the art contest and to see last year’s winners.

Woodpeckers, Chickadees, Hawks, Oh My!

Did you miss out on going Birding in Tacony Creek Park last month? Well, here’s another chance!

As part of the Audubon Society’s Great Backyard Bird Count, the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF) will be holding another free walk to look for birds wintering in Philadelphia. Join TTF this Saturday, February 15 from 10am to 12pm at I St. & Ramona Ave. gateway to Tacony Creek Park.

RSVP by e-mailing Alex Cooper or call 215-744-1853.

Dress warmly and prepare to spot some of Philadelphia’s finest birds!

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