Fact Sheet

Housed in one of Philadelphia’s most recognizable landmarks, Fairmount Water Works is dedicated to fostering stewardship of shared water resources by encouraging informed decisions about the use of land and water. What makes Fairmount Water Works unique among environmental centers is its location at the river’s edge and in the center of the fifth largest city in the nation.

  • Opened in 1815 as the nation’s first urban public water supply system .
  • National Historic Landmark, Civil Engineering Landmark, and National Mechanical Engineering Landmark.
  • A destination for 500,000 visitors since opening its doors as an environmental center in 2003.
  • Educating and exciting 40,000 people annually on how to be better stewards of our precious water resources.
  • Free and open to the public six days a week.
  • An exemplary model of the power of public-private partnerships.
  • Home to a living laboratory for water-based research, linking public education, interpretation and real-time research.
  • Partners with the Phila. School District, providing free educational programming in a classroom setting.
  • Visited by tens of thousands of students who participate in programming which melds science, technology, engineering, art & architecture, and math (STEAM).
  • Recognized by the PA Department of Environmental Protection as the Delaware River Basin’s Official Watershed Education Center and as a Gateway Center for the Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area.
  • Responsible for an annual budget of $2 M with basic operating funds provided by the Philadelphia Water Department and for raising program and capital funds from private sources.
  • Supported by William Penn Foundation, Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation, Philadelphia Global Water Initiative, Society of Women Environmental Professionals of Greater Philadelphia, in addition to colleges, universities, corporations and individual donors.
  • Committed to partnering with diverse groups to sustain and enhance visitors’ educational experience through innovative expansion, programmatic excellence and pioneering research over the next 25 years.