Water Resources

What Can You Do To Help Keep Drinking Water Clean & Safe?

New! Information about protecting Allentown's drinking water.  Learn whom to contact in the case of an emergency spill.  Download the brochure.

How to Manage Stormwater: Downspout Disconnection

Property owners are responsible to maintain the wastewater connection from their property line to the home or building. A wastewater connection is not intended to carry stormwater (rain, surface water or groundwater). Therefore, property owners are asked to ensure that their property is not contributing to the current Infiltration/Inflow problem.

Downloads:   Downspout Disconnection Brochure  Letter to Residents

Drinking Water Notifications 

Water customers in the City of Allentown can sign-up to be part of the Bureau of Water Resources Emergency Notification System. Customers can join-up by clicking on the icon below and entering the necessary information.

The city contracted with FirstCall Network Inc. of Baton Rouge, Louisiana to implement a system whereby customers can receive voice, text or email messages in the event of a boil water advisory or similar emergency. Customers would also receive a follow-up message when the advisory was lifted.

“This is a tremendous new tool,” said Mayor Ed Pawlowski. “Our residents can now be notified within minutes of an emergency at the plant. With more and more people carrying cell phones all the time, they can arrange to receive the information even when they are away from home.”

The contract with FirstCall covers two years and includes 20,000 minutes worth of messages at a cost of just more than $24,000. Unused minutes rollover to the next year.

The system has the capability to send 3500 voice messages, 6000 text messages and 20,000 emails per minute. The phone message is available in English and Spanish.

FirstCall has compiled a database of phone numbers across the city that has reached 34,000 service connections, but they can’t reach those with unlisted telephone numbers unless they register. Customers can also opt to receive the message by cell phone or by email.

Officials in the Water Bureau can use VPN, web portal or one of FirstCall’s 24 hour operators to activate the system. They can send a message to the entire list or can target specific areas on a map.

Water customers in the city without access to the internet can register by calling FirstCall toll-free at 866-484-3264.

Click this image to sign up:


Fat, Oils and Grease Disposal

Prevent sanitary sewer blockages and backups by disposing of fats, oils and greases correclty. Download this brochure to learn more.


About Allentown's Bureau of Water Resources

The Northampton Water Company began operating in 1820, and the City of Allentown purchased this water system in 1869.

Today, the Allentown's Bureau of Water Resources serves 34,000 customers (with an average daily demand of 20 million gallons per day) within the city as well as most of Salisbury Township and portions of South Whitehall and Hanover (Lehigh County) townships. In addition, Whitehall Township Authority relies on Allentown during peak demand periods. The Bureau is responsible for water treatment, water distribution, sewage collection, sewage treatment and storm water, and employs 22 water filtration employees and 48 water distribution employees.

Allentown's Bureau of Water Resources draws water from the Little Lehigh Creek, the Lehigh River, Schantz Spring and Crystal Spring. The Bureau owns and operates a 30-million-gallon-per-day water treatment plant that includes coagulation/flocculation, lamella plate clarification and dual media high-rate filtration for surface water. All sources are disinfected. The treatment plant was upgraded from 1994 - 1997 and includes a state-of-the-art computerized process control system

Water Filtration Plant

The City of Allentown Water Filtration Plant went through a $20 million modernization upgrade that was completed in December 1997. Treatment facilities built in 1928 were converted into a water quality lab and administrative area. Treatment facilities built in 1958 were modernized with a completely new electrical system, computerized process control system, new flocculators, clarifiers, backwash equalization basins and sludge thickeners. In addition, more instrumentation was installed for greater process control. In early 1995, the plant staff chose to set major quality standards at a level that is conservatively 50% more strict than the same Federal and State Regulatory Requirements.


  • 2010, 2009, 2008 Area-wide Optimization Program Award
  • 1998 Friend of the Lehigh River Award
  • 1998 Diamond Award for Engineering Excellence from the Consulting Engineers Council of PA for Innovation in Water Treatment Plant Design.

Memberships: American Water Works Association; American Water Works Association Research Foundation; Water Environment Federation; Water Resources Association of the Delaware River Basin Commission; PA Water Environment Association; PA Section American Water Works Association.

Mission Statement

  • Water Filtration -- To provide, in accordance with regulatory requirements and utilizing recognized operational, maintenance and laboratory procedures, a safe and plentiful supply of drinking water. Similarly, to effectively maintain & support all related programs mandated under the Public Drinking Water Law and Amendments.
  • Water Distribution -- To provide, through a combination of inspection, upgrading, replacement and repair, for the maintenance of the piping system through which water is conveyed.