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The Water Department shall have the power and its duty shall be to perform the following functions:
(a) Water. It shall operate the City's water supply system, and shall either itself, or by contract, construct, maintain, repair and improve City water supply facilities, including fire and drinking hydrants and water meters. It shall make investigations and prepare plans and estimates looking towards the acquisition by the City of new and better sources of water supply, and shall, with the approval of the Managing Director, make its recommendations to the Mayor for transmission to the Council. It shall also investigate and adopt methods for improving the quality of the water supply.
(b) Sewage and Sewage Disposal. The Department shall operate, and itself, or by contract, maintain, repair and improve the City's sewage system and sewage disposal plants. When authorized by the Council, it shall acquire, design and construct additional sewage disposal plants and sewage facilities.
Sources: Act of June 25, 1919, P.L. 581, Article VI, Section 3, as amended.
Purposes: 1. Under the Charter of 1919 the functions vested in the Water Department were performed chiefly by the Department of Public Works. These were but some of the many functions which overburdened that Department. A separate department to deal with the water problem is established by this Charter because of its urgency and because a separate department might facilitate a more immediate and adequate solution.
2. The principal function of the Water Department is to furnish the City with an adequate water supply of improved quality.
3. Because City sewage systems and sewage disposal facilities are closely related functionally to the water system of the City, their operation and maintenance are also vested in the Water Department.
4. The acquisition, design and construction of sewage disposal plants and sewage facilities are major capital improvements and for this reason authorization by the Council is required before they can be undertaken.