lead

Year in Review (Part One): 2016 a Big Year for Philly’s Water Stewards

Commissioner Debra A. McCarty helps a West Philly Student put on a new button at 2016 rain garden ribbon cutting event. She became the first woman to lead the department. Credit: Brian Rademaekers
Commissioner Debra A. McCarty helps a West Philly Student put on a new button at 2016 rain garden ribbon cutting event. She became the first woman to lead the department. Credit: Brian Rademaekers

Newly-elected Mayor Jim Kenney rang in 2016 in a big way by naming Debra A. McCarty Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner, making her the first woman to lead the organization in its nearly 200-year history.

That big announcement, it seems, set the tone for PWD in 2016.

It was a busy year, with lots of exciting news—big and small—for Philly’s water community, and we recently took some time to look back at all the great things happening here.

We made major investments in our infrastructure. We marked important milestones with partners and residents. We revived superheroes, and we collaborated with science-savvy brewers…

It was such a big year at PWD, we’re presenting our 2016 highlights in not one blog post, but three!

(See Part II)

Without further ado, here is the first installment of our three-part series exploring highlights from the last year, presented in no particular order:

Get the Facts on Lead and Water: Invite Philadelphia Water to Your Next Community Meeting

Philadelphia's water is lead free, but we cannot control the plumbing in every home. That's why we need customers to get the facts about lead plumbing. Credit: Philadelphia Water.
Philadelphia's water is lead free, but we cannot control the plumbing in every home. We want customers to have the facts on lead plumbing so that they are empowered to remove lead pipes and can take daily steps to reduce exposure risks. Credit: Philadelphia Water

The danger of lead in drinking water continues to be a hot topic in the news, and we know many people have seen or heard recent features addressing the issue. Because we know that even small amounts of lead may be harmful to infants, young children and pregnant women, we understand why people are concerned.

Although the drinking water provided by Philadelphia Water is lead free—our treatment facilities and water mains do not contain lead materials—homes built prior to 1950 may have water distribution pipes/service lines (the small pipe that connects a home’s internal plumbing to the water main) made of lead. Copper pipes inside homes may also be joined by lead-containing solders, and some homes may have brass pipes, faucets, fittings and valves that contain lead.

Philadelphia Water Announces Unprecedented Efforts to Help Customers with Lead Pipes

Philadelphia Water works hard to make sure the water we deliver tops all safety standards. Now, we're expanding our efforts to educate customers about lead plumbing and helping customers replace lead pipes. Credit: Philadelphia Water.
Philadelphia Water works hard to make sure the water we deliver tops all safety standards. Now, we're expanding our efforts to educate customers about lead plumbing and helping customers replace their lead pipes. Credit: Philadelphia Water.

Today, Philadelphia Water let City Council know about robust new efforts to educate customers about plumbing made from lead and announced new, unprecedented efforts that will help our customers get rid of their lead pipes once and for all.

Philadelphia Water Commissioner Debra A. McCarty answered questions and provided detailed information about our history of providing safe water, how we test for lead at customer’s taps, and new efforts to take lead pipes out of homes that will make Philadelphia a national leader on this issue.

We let Councilmembers know about six big things we’re doing right now to take on lead plumbing in Philadelphia:

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