Last week the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Philadelphia Water Department signed an agreement to officially begin using green stormwater infrastructure to reduce Combined Sewer Overflows to its waterways. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, speaking at a conference last week, presented the new plan:
The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) submitted plans for the project to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) in September, 2009, after vetting the plan with Philadelphia residents. Green City, Clean Waters lays the groundwork for the PWD to build primarily green infrastructure – such as stormwater tree trenches, vegetated bumpouts, porous asphalt, rain gardens, sidewalk planters – over the next 25 years. These projects will transform non-porous surfaces that repel rain into surfaces that allow water to soak through, reducing the amount of environmentally damaging stormwater runoff.
The innovative plan also includes wastewater treatment facility enhancements and pipe renewal and replacement. Green City, Clean Waters works in tandem with the Mayor’s Greenworks Philadelphia vision in order to reinvent Philadelphia as a green, sustainable city of the future.
PWD continues to work on green infrastructure designs that best serve the Philadelphia landscape. These early projects serve as public demonstrations for citizens and provide the PWD and its many partners with early opportunities to monitor and improve the efficiencies of these practices. A list of featured projects – and information on Green City, Clean Waters can be found at PWD’s website: http://www.phillywatersheds.org.