Learn about the innovative design, technology, and operation of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Water Works, the site of the nation’s first successful municipal water supply system. Discover how the supply of clean, freshwater contributed to the growth of our young city in the 1800s, how land use over the decades contributed to changes in water quality, and how the Philadelphia Water Department manages stormwater runoff which is considered the biggest contributor to water pollution in Philadelphia today.
After touring the Water Works, we will hit the Schuylkill River Trail for a mile walk along the Schuylkill Banks to the Walnut Street dock, viewing select rehabilitation projects designed to control erosion, manage stormwater, and create wildlife habitat. After the walk, this option of the tour provides participants with a one-hour narrated riverboat cruise of the tidal Schuylkill River. Highlights of the cruise include the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, Bartram’s Gardens, and early 20th-century architecture, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 30th Street Station, and the former Post Office Building.
Environmental Education Planner, Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center