Did you know you drink the same water that the dinosaurs drank? Did you know your body is made up of about 66% water? Learn these and other exciting facts about water, water conservation, and the 200 year history of water in Philadelphia at the Fairmount Water Works at the edge of the Schuylkill River.
Located just below the Art Museum, the Fairmount Water Works Interpretative Center opened in 2003 with the mission of promoting stewardship of water resources and helping citizens make responsible decisions about their use of land and water. Housed in the former Fairmount Water Works, one of the pumping stations for Philadelphia from 1815 to 1909, visitors can see the remaining pumping equipment used to move water uphill from the Schuylkill to the “Faire Mount” reservoirs formerly located where the Art Museum now stands.
The Philadelphia Water Department provides the resources and guides at the Water Works, teaching children and their families through a combination of displays, interactive computer models, and hands-on activities.
Pollution of the Schuylkill led to the closing of the Water Works in 1909. It was an aquarium and then a swimming facility until it closed permanently in 1973. Now, a National Historic Landmark and National Historic Civil and Mechanical Engineering Landmark, the Fairmount Water Works Museum is free and open to the public.
Fairmount Water Works Interpretative Center
640 Waterworks Drive
Tuesdays – Saturdays: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sundays: 1:00 – 5:00 pm
Closed on Mondays and City Holidays
Barb is a mom of 5 kids who spends her day keeping track of socks, stuffed animals, library books, and a 4 year old when she isn’t writing about all the frugality, gardening, cooking, and reading she manages to fit in between the chaotic moments. She can be found at A Life in Balance, Frugal Local Kitchen, oron Twitter with daily doses of life in 140 characters or less.