Philadelphia gets $500M from Biden admin. for badly needed water system upgrades

Philadelphia on Friday was awarded half a billion dollars from the federal government to upgrade its weathered water system that includes miles worth of decades-old pipes.

The Philadelphia Water Department reports there are 31 hundred miles of water lines in the city with an average age of 77 years. The older lines are vulnerable to extreme weather. 

President Biden visited Philadelphia to present the city with $500M that will be used to replace 13 miles of water mains and remove 160 lead service line running from resident's homes.

As February ushers in bitterly cold temperatures, residents in a Kingsessing neighborhood are reminded of last February when a century-old water main cracked in the harsh chill of winter. 


"We looked outside, it was just like a river going down the block, shocking, the kids were scared, we thought we weren’t going to make it out – we wanted a boat," Passion Jones said.

Eight million gallons of water poured onto the street from the cracked 48-inch pipe, flooding basements, inundating cars and making surrounding street impassable. 

"It was crazy, me and my family had to go away for a while because it was out for weeks," Mitchell Newman said. "It was just a mess."

A year later, the neighborhood has returned to normal and repairs have mostly been completed. Still, miles of age-old pipe and the harshness of winter leaves residents susceptible.