Be Ready: Frozen Pipes Are No Winter Wonderland

Check out the tips below and reduce your chances of having cold weather damamage to your home plumbing system.
Click the image above to check out some helpful tips that can reduce your chances of having cold weather damage your home plumbing system.

December’s record-setting warmth spared Philadelphia’s pipes and water mains much of the stress that typically comes with long stretches of below-freezing temperatures. The first few days of 2016, however, have made it clear that we aren't going to be skipping over winter after all. 

Extreme cold can cause pipes and the ground to expand and contract, and very cold river water can also make water mains more brittle. In part, those factors can help to explain why more than half of Philadelphia’s water main breaks occur during the coldest months in a typical year.

But our more than 3,000 miles of water mains aren’t alone when it comes to feeling the impacts of Old Man Winter.

Artists: Help Us Highlight the Schuylkill River for Art in the Open 2016

Work by artist Sandy Sorlien in the South Garden fountain, AiO 2014 Family Day (Photo: Karen Jenkins)
Work by artist Sandy Sorlien in the South Garden fountain at AiO 2014's Family Day. Photo credit: Karen Jenkins.

This spring, the banks of the Schuylkill River will be buzzing with the creative work of artists selected for the sixth year of “Art in the Open,” or AiO, a three-day event that gives the public an intimate look at the processes behind art.

Our iconic Fairmount Water Works facility will act as the starting point for the AiO installations, which will populate the riverbanks moving south toward Bartram’s Garden.

UPDATE: More Work Expected at 13th and Locust

Above: Workers attempted to uncover this valve box cover on Monday night. More work is likely to occur in the coming days.
Above: Workers attempted to uncover this valve box cover on Monday night. More work is likely to occur in the coming days. Credit: Philadelphia Water 

As we noted earlier on social media, leak detection work at the rainbow-colored crosswalk at 13th and Locust streets was mistakenly reported as vandalism on Monday, December 28.

Philadelphia Water recognizes that work performed last night at that intersection caused some concern among citizens in the area. While the work being performed was not unusual, we apologize for the disturbance and any misunderstanding regarding the nature of our activities.

Photos: Green City, Clean Waters Gets Cheers at Smith Celebration

Philadelphia Water joined other City partners and Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin in breaking ground on a Smith Recreation Center makeover that includes extensive green stormwater infrastructure. Click to see photos from the event.

Philadelphia Water joined other City partners and Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin in breaking ground on a Smith Recreation Center makeover that includes extensive green stormwater infrastructure. Click the image above to see more photos from the event.

You might think it’d be hard for green stormwater infrastructure to get much attention when you have a star NFL player (Connor Barwin) talking about fun things like a completely renovated recreation center and the new athletic fields and basketball courts coming to Smith Playground in South Philadelphia.

We Say Goodbye to 2015 (and a Green Champion) on Monday at Smith Playground

Mayor Michael Nutter speaks at the ribbon cutting for Ralph Brooks Park. Philadelphia Water will join Nutter for one last celebration of green infrastructure and community collaboration on Monday, December 28. Credit: Philadelphia Water.
Mayor Michael Nutter speaks at the ribbon cutting for Ralph Brooks Park in August. Philadelphia Water will join Nutter for one last celebration of green infrastructure and community collaboration on Monday, December 28. Credit: Philadelphia Water.

We’re joining Parks and Recreation and closing out 2015 with a ground breaking celebration for a big, very cool project: the revamp of Smith Playground at 24th and Jackson streets in South Philadelphia.

As the second playground project chosen by Urban Roots and the Make the World Better foundation, Smith Playground will get a full, $2.5 million makeover in the coming months. It follows in the footsteps of the popular Ralph Brooks Park project, where a similar collaboration led to a full renovation that wrapped up this summer.

Schuylkill Action Network Wants to Hear from You

Contestants in the 2015 Philly Fun Fishing Fest soak in the river at Schuylkill Banks. What do you want for the future of the Schuylkill River?
Contestants in the 2015 Philly Fun Fishing Fest soak in the river at Schuylkill Banks. What do you want for the future of the Schuylkill River? Tell SAN by clicking here. (Credit: Philadelphia Water)

The Schuylkill Action Network, one of our key partners in efforts improve the health of the Schuylkill River, wants to hear from the people who live near this incredible natural resource and depend on the waterway for drinking water.

SAN is collaborative network of over 100 organizations—including federal, state, and local government partners, schools and more—all working to protect and restore the Schuylkill River watershed. Right now, they’re developing a 5-year strategic plan to improve this amazing regional treasure.
And they want your input to make that plan the best that it can be.

Philadelphia Water's New Official Spokesdog: Little Pup with a Big Message

Meet Shorty, our latest anti-POOllution Spokesdog. Nothing makes him more upset than seeing pet waste that's been left on the street to wash into our rivers—his (and our) drinking water source! Credit: Philadelphia Water/Partnership for the Delaware Estuary
Meet Shorty, our latest anti-POOllution Spokesdog. Nothing makes him more upset than seeing pet waste that's been left on the street to wash into our rivers—his (and our) drinking water source! Credit: Philadelphia Water/Partnership for the Delaware Estuary

There were some (very) big dogs.

There were lots of (very) cute dogs.

But after a hard-fought contest at the Zoom Room on Girard Avenue this past Sunday, there was only one official Philadelphia Water Spokesdog.

And that dog is …  

Freakishly Warm Philly Weather Has Climate Change on Our Minds

Day of First Freeze 1948-2015 Philadelphia Int'l Airport

At the start of the month, we talked about the Paris climate change conference and what we're doing to prepare for global warming. Record high temperatures were set over the weekend and more highs are likely this week. But it’s another warm weather-related event that has us concerned: Last Sunday, December 6, was the first time in fall 2015 that the official temperature at Philadelphia International Airport was at or below 32º F.

This is about a month later than the average date of the first freeze, and it's the first time we've gone without a freeze through November. In fact, when looking at the period of record from 1948-2015, it's the latest the first freeze of the year has happened, beating the previous record of November 28, set in 2010, by eight days. And while weather is not climate, the date of the first freeze has been getting later over the last few decades.