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PWD Construction Project Updates and Alerts

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The Philadelphia Water Department is working to provide regular updates on construction projects and potential impacts on communities.

The following projects involve long-term construction and may create traffic disruptions and impact communities. Not all construction projects are represented here. Click the project name for details and updates.

On December 23, 2013, at approximately 8:48 AM the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) experienced a failure of a 48” transmission main in the intersection of Frankford Ave. & Torresdale Ave., which flooded the intersection and abutting businesses. The water main break caused widespread low water pressure in portions of the city. The Water Department monitors the water system continuously from its control center and noticed a sudden decrease in pressure and responded immediately to close valves and isolate the failed section of transmission main. This effort took approximately 3 hours. By noon the failed section was isolated and pressure was restored in the system.

All impacted businesses should have already spoken to a Customer Service Representative. If that still has not occurred, we ask that they contact our Customer Service Representatives by calling 215-685-9602.

  • Repair and restoration is expected to require a few months.
  • PWD will continue to update impacted residents and the neighborhood as to the duration of the repair and restoration.

Updates: February 4, 2014

The department has determined that it is prudent to replace an equal amount of pipe in the adjacent main due to its close proximity to the broken main and possible damage it may have sustained when the main broke. These will be replaced one at a time, not both mains at once. Some fittings must be special ordered to complete the repair and crews will begin installing the mains once we have all the pieces necessary.

The Water Department is unable to provide a time frame for completion, however, we are working as quickly as possible. The following list outlines work that must be done before this project is complete and the street can be restored:

  • Remainder of excavation must take place to fully expose the mains that will be removed - this is complete for the east portion. West portion still to be completed.
  • Removal and replacement of 50 feet of water main on the East main.
  • Removal and replacement of 50 feet of water main on the West main.
  • Mains will need to be sanitized and pressure tested prior to being placed back in service.
  • The excavation will be backfilled with flowable fill around the mains.
  • Proper backfilling of the area so that street restoration can begin.

Should any changes be made, or timeframes become available, that information will be included in a future update.

Philadelphia's drinking water is safe and of high quality and providing this safe, reliable and essential service is our top priority. The Water Department continues to appreciate your patience and understanding while we work to restore this area to normal. If you have any questions, you may contact John DiGiulio at

The Philadelphia Water Department is constructing an underground storage basin at Venice Island between the Manayunk Canal and the Schuylkill River, between the Lock and Cotton Street bridges in the Manayunk neighborhood of Philadelphia. The basin will temporarily store diverted sanitary flow from the interceptor sewer during intense rain storms to reduce pollution in the Schuylkill River.

This multi-year project is the culmination of several years of research and community engagement to determine the best placement for the basin and the most amenable replacement of lost facilities. This project includes:

  • Demolition of existing parking and recreation facilities at Venice Island
  • Construction of underground storage basin
  • Replacement of lost parking and recreation facilities

Updates: October 19, 2013. This project is currently in Phase 3

In Phase 1, workers completed the demolition of the existing Recreation Center and construction of temporary parking for the Manayunk Development Corporation.

In Phase 2, workers completed the demolition of previous parking facilities; excavation of the area for the underground storage tank; and construction of the tank, pumping facility and roughly half of the new parking facility.

Phase 3 includes the construction of the Parks and Recreation facilities, i.e. the Performing Arts Center (PAC), sprayground, and additional parking. The parking will be linked with the lot constructed during Phase 2, thus unifying the site and completing the construction of the new parking facility.

  • Protective netting has been installed to keep red belly turtles out of the area of bridge work necessary for the completion of this project.
  • The Basin is completed and currently in a 120 day {4 month} “live” test period in which sewage is introduced during a heavy rain event. All prior tests have been with water.
  • The site work on the tank is now 90% complete.
  • The Lock Street parking has been opened and is in use.
  • The parking area at the Performing Arts Center has been prepared for paving next week. This will connect the west end {Cotton St} to the east end {Lock St} parking areas.
  • Cotton St will be closed 10/28 -11/8 to complete the new water main boring below the canal and railroad. Parking access will move to Lock St.
  • The foundations for the children’s gardens are near complete and garden wall construction will begin next week.
  • The Performing Art Center stage one steel and precast panels are erected. Final steel erection will begin 10/28-11/8.
  • Framing for the glass wall systems and interior has begun.

For more information of this project visit the Venice Island project page.

Click map to view larger image

The Philadelphia Water Department will be making improvements to the Belmont water treatment facility to reduce leakage and improve the integrity of the basins. The project includes:

  • Construction of a temporary retaining dam between the two basins in order to keep one basin in service throughout the project
  • Cleaning and relining of basins
  • Addition of a spillway to capture basin overflow
  • Construction of a new basin dividing wall

Most of the construction activity should occur without much disturbance to the community. However, the early stages (first 2 months) of the project may be noisy and there is the potential for increased traffic on Stoudt Rd where signs have been posted. Work will be occur from 7am-3pm, Monday through Friday and is expected to last for approximately 16 months, ending in the Summer of 2014.

Updates forthcoming 

Click map to view larger image


The Water Department appreciates your patience and understanding during this facility upgrade.

Survey and Petition

Understanding the nature of specific problems in neighborhoods is an important first step for the City to develop solutions. Please take the time to fill out this survey to help us better understand your flooding problem. Thank you for your input.


This presentation provides an update to a previous meeting regarding potential solutions to relieve neighborhood flooding and sanitary sewer issues in an area of Philadelphia that is served by a private sewer. This was delivered in a face to face meeting with residents in the vicinity of Spring Lane and Hendren Street on February 20th, 2014, at the Andora Library.

Read the Q&A addressing community members' concerns from this meeting.

On Saturday, January 11th, at approximately 4:30 a.m., the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) was alerted to a failure on a section of a 48” transmission main in the parking lot of Baker’s Centre, a shopping plaza at 3400 Fox Street. The broken pipe was shut down at approximately 6:20 a.m. after releasing approximately 13 million gallons of water.

The Water Department is currently still performing excavation work and assessment of the work necessary to repair the broken section of water main. This work site has been particularly difficult due to the close proximity of several 48 inch water mains all located within feet of each other. The crews working must hand dig around the main, and heavy equipment is being used very carefully only when possible. Particular care must be taken to not damage any of the other mains in that location, so work is progressing, but with extreme diligence.

All impacted businesses should have already spoken to a Customer Service Representative. If that still has not occurred, we ask that they contact our Customer Service Representatives by calling 215-685-9602.

PWD will continue to update this page as more information becomes available.

Updates: February 3, 2014

  • excavation work is complete
  • Special fittings must be delivered before we will be able to begin replacing the section of main.
  • The Water Department is investigating a slow but steady flow of water that is entering the excavation from an unknown source. Several PWD units are working to identify the source of this water.
  • At this point, we are unable to provide a time frame for completion.

The Water Department appreciates the patience and understanding of everyone impacted by this break, as any water main break of this magnitude can be messy and disruptive.
Philadelphia's drinking water is safe and of high quality and providing this safe, reliable and essential service is our top priority.

PWD will be embarking on a multi-year project at this site which will include the construction of new water tanks, general facility upgrades and additional sight improvements.The East Park Reservoir is an important drinking water storage facility for the City of Philadelphia. The facility provides water storage for approximately 50 percent of the Philadelphia Water Department’s customers and provides reliable water service during emergency conditions.

Join the Philadelphia Water Department for an information session

Key Project Facts

  • 60 million gallons of drinking water storage
  • Continued reliable water service to customers
  • Relocated access road for improved traffic safety
  • Partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation
  • Partnership with Audubon Society and Outward Bound Philadelphia

  • Project Schedule: Construction- Anticipated 2014-2016

    Project Overview and FAQ

    The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) is beginning heavy construction in your neighborhood. The water mains located in the streets listed below have outlived their useful lifespan and must be replaced now to safeguard your water and sewer services and prevent potential leaks or breaks from flooding and damaging City streets and private property:

    • W. Johnson from Greene St. to Sherman St.
    • N. Moylan St. from W. Washington Ln. to W. Pomona St.
    • W. Pomona St. from Moylan St. to Sherman St.
    • Sherman St. from W. Washington Ln. to Johnson St.
    • W. Washington Ln. from Moylan St. to Wayne Ave.
    • N. Wayne Ave. from W. Tulpehocken St. to Washington Ln.

    The Water Department has hired a private contractor, Nello Construction Co. Inc., to complete the above project. The work will proceed block by block until final completion on or about 7-24-14.

    Updates: March 7, 2014

    • The Water Department has assigned an Inspector to the project who will be on-site every day. Contact the inspector with any problems.
    • The Inspector will notify you one day in advance of any scheduled water shut-offs. Several will be required over the course of the project to make connections to the new water main.
    • shut-offs typically take place in the morning hours, start at 9:00 AM and last for 2 to 8 hours, depending on the difficulty involved.
    • Read the FAQ addressing community members' concerns.
    Baring Street from 36th to 37th: download the construction letter
    N. Felton Street and Vine: download the construction letter
    Glenn Street, Sussex Lane, Chesterfield Street and Wessex: download the construction letter
    Cambridge Street and 38th Street: download the construction letter
    Poplar Street and 38th Street: download the construction letter
    Hilspach Street from Fulmer to Murray: download the construction letter
    Camac Street from Rockland: download the construction letter
    Wakeling, Ditman and Worth Streets: download the construction letter
    Leithgow Street, Cambria Street to Indiana Avenue: download the construction letter
    Reese Street, from York Street to Cumberland Street: download the construction letter
    Memphis Street, Clearfield Street to Westmorleand Street: download the construction letter
    Darien Street and Lehigh: download the construction letter
    Darien Street and Cambria: download the construction letter
    57th Street from Pentridge Street: download the construction letter
    Emily Street from 21st to 22nd: download the construction letter
    22nd and 27th from South to Bainbridge: download the construction letter
    Reese Street from Porter Street to Ritner Street: download the construction letter


    Fill out the form below to submit your questions and concerns. Do not use this form in an emergency situation. If you need immediate assistance, please call (215) 685-6300


    To report an incident or problem that needs immediate attention, please call 215-685-6300.