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Philadelphia Water Quality: Then & Now
The City of Brotherly Love is in the crux of two mighty rivers, the Schuylkill and Delaware. But even with fresh water literally on either side of the city, colonial Philadelphia was fraught with frequent and widespread epidemics. In the 1700s, it was common for Philadelphians to dump industrial waste and human sewage into the creeks and streams to be carried away to the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers, which unfortunately also provided drinking water to the city.
The mounting exposure to bacteria and pollutants led the city to build one of the first water and wastewater systems. The surface creeks and streams became the framework for this infrastructure system. Sewers in creek beds cost-effectively used gravity flow to move the wastewater away from the city and allowed city planners to create the grid layout of Philadelphia. However, this systematic erasing of surface creeks and streams has changed the hydrological conditions. Of the 283 miles of streams that once flowed through Philadelphia to carry runoff to the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers, only 118 miles remain today.
It wasn’t until the early 20th Century when city planners realized the negative effects of piping streams and the benefits of creating public parks instead. In 1815, city planners combined the beauty of nature and the science of engineering to create the awe-inspiring Fairmount Water Works. Check out the video below to learn more about Fairmount Water Works.
Philadelphia passed the Purity of Water Act in 1905 to try to curb the sewage pollution evident in the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers, the act was not enforced until the 1950s. To combat the sewage-filled intake sources, the city began adding a lot of chlorine to the filtered water, creating the world-famous Schuylkill Punch.
While the Schuylkill River has become a National Heritage Area and a scenic river, Philadelphia still adds chlorine and other chemicals to improve the cleanliness of drinking water. Philadelphia water has a predominantly chlorinous smell with an earthy, musty scent from algae growth.
Like many older cities, most of Philadelphia’s water mains and water infrastructure are cast iron pipes, the drinking water industry standard until the mid-1960s. The average age of Philadelphia water line is about 78 years old, though older areas of Philadelphia might have pipes that are between 150 and 200 years old! Older cast iron pipes are prone to corrosion and biofilm contamination from chemical reactions. These chemical reactions create clusters of corrosion and bacteria along the inside of the pipe, diminishing the space that the drinking water travels through. Sometimes these clusters break off and travel with your water to your faucet, resulting in water cloudiness, red water, and off-taste and odor.
Quench Water Coolers –
A Better Drinking Water System for Philadelphia
No need to worry about what your office’s drinking water might have picked up on its journey to your glass. Quench offers a full complement of filtration and purification technologies to remove sediment, reduce chemical contaminants, including lead, and get rid of off-tastes and odors. That’s how we can guarantee that Quench office water coolers produce crisp, clean, great-tasting water – and at a fraction of the price of bottled water delivery services. Go bottle-free with Quench and you will save time, money, and the environment, plus you will have better drinking water!
Quench Proudly Serves More Than 60,000 Customers Nationwide
I want to thank the team at Quench for the quick, professional installation of our new water system. You and your installation team made the process very simple and timely from start to finish. I highly recommend your product as an alternative to water bottles!
Nationwide Service with Local Presence
Quench’s dedicated customer team stands behind every installation. You’ll always find a well-trained, friendly human at the other end of the phone, and all service is performed by insured, certified Quench-badged technicians. Our customer service promise includes proactive preventive maintenance, filter changes, and all service and support. We worry about your drinking water, so you don’t have to.
Proudly providing businesses with clean, filtered drinking water in the greater Philadelphia Metro Area, including Philadelphia City and County, Delaware County PA, Bucks County PA, Chester County PA, Montgomery County PA, Berks County PA, Lehigh County PA, Lancaster County PA, Atlantic County NJ, Gloucester County NJ, Burlington County NJ, Camden County NJ. Wilmington and New Castle County DE.
Quench Filtration Solutions
For over 20 years, Quench has focused exclusively on providing businesses with the highest quality filtered water. This commitment to doing one thing well has made us the trusted water authority for over 50% of the Fortune 500. We offer the best bottleless water coolers, ice machines, sparkling water dispensers, and coffee brewers to fit any workplace. No matter your location, company size, or industry, we have a filtered water solution that is right for you!