Clean Waters

Sneak Peek: Cobbs Creek Oral History Project + Virtual Walking Tour

Come to the Cobbs Creek Library on Aug. 7 at 6:30 p.m. to learn about an oral history of the area.

Starting in 2015, the Philadelphia Water Department's Public Engagement team began recording conversations with members of the Cobbs Creek community.

The goal?

To better understand how people feel about Cobbs Creek—one of Philadelphia's seven major watersheds—and what they want to see for the neighborhood, the park, and the stream.

You can get a sneak peek of the project by visiting this site, and all are welcome to join us at an open house event being held at the Cobbs Creek branch of the Free Library on Monday, August 7 at 6:30 p.m.

In addition to a presentation about the oral history project, residents will get to explore a new virtual walking tour that uses a web-based "story map" to explore 17 new green stormwater tools coming to the Cobbs Creek Parkway. These systems will add new landscaping and amenities to the area while keeping millions of gallons of runoff and sewer overflow pollution out of the creek each year.

Refreshments will served: please RSVP here!

This event is being hosted by the Cobbs Creek Neighbors, a community group working to improve the neighborhood and enhance local green spaces, including the Darby-Cobbs Watershed.

Watershed Stewards PHL, a group of local high school students working with PWD and the Land Health Institute this summer to protect the Cobbs, will also be on hand to talk about their work so far.

What’s the Value of Water? Tackle the Question at WHYY with Philadelphia Water

Philadelphia Water is serious about investing in infrastructure. Credit: Rick Orlosky
Philadelphia Water is serious about investing in infrastructure. Credit: Rick Orlosky

Water is essential for everything we do in life, and so are the systems that deliver drinking water to homes and businesses and remove and treat wastewater for safe reuse or return to the environment. After working around the clock for decades or more (often for over a century), and serving growing communities, Philadelphia’s water infrastructure is aging and in need of investment. Water systems also face stresses that their 20th-century builders never anticipated as changing climate patterns intensify storm events, increase drought occurrences, and contribute to rising sea levels and flooding.
Like cities and regions nationwide, Philadelphia is confronting complex environmental, demographic, and economic challenges while working to meet the public’s expectations for affordable clean water, effective wastewater management, and flood protection. But Philadelphia is tackling these formidable challenges with a unique approach. Philadelphia Water is aiming to be a model 21st Century utility with investments in innovative, decentralized water infrastructure as a cornerstone of our 25-year Green City, Clean Waters strategy to achieve that goal. Philadelphia is also pursuing strategies to make all wastewater treatment plans Net Zero Energy facilities.
 
As part of Infrastructure Week 2015, Philadelphia Water is joining forces with American Water, the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia and the Value of Water Coalition for a roundtable discussion on the state of water infrastructure and innovative investments in regional water systems. The conversation will cover a number of ways that water investments are moving Philadelphia and the region forward, and how water infrastructure in this region compares to projects and strategies in other regions across the country.
Join us on Thursday, May 14 from 8 to 10 a.m. at the WHYY Studios for free breakfast and engaging conversation. The event is free, but you must register by clicking here

The Wharton Street Lofts Incorporates a Green Roof


There is more than meets the eye in South Philadelphia. Wharton Street Lofts, formerly known as the Annunciation School, is offering the tenants of its 45 apartments an extra amenity - a green roof deck. Open to all residents, these green roof tops were made possible via a partnership created through PWD’s Green City, Clean Waters. Developer, Leo Addimando. was awarded a grant through PWD’s Stormwater Management Incentive Program (SMIP). Administered jointly with the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), this innovative program provides grants to non-residential PWD customers to support investments in green stormwater infrastructure. In addition to the building’s green roof, the developer has incorporated a rain garden in the parking lot, as well as two subsurface infiltration beds, and street trees.

To learn more about the SMIP program and how your business can more effectively manage stormwater, please, Click Here.  

EarthFest Celebration



Friday, April 25th marked the 12th anniversary of Temple University, Ambler’s EarthFest Celebration.This campus-wide celebration of Earth Day is dedicated to spread awareness on ways of being environmental friendly and the different methods of sustainability. An ever growing list of exhibitors greeted thousands of visitors excited to learn more about our region’s sustainable programs. Particpants included the Philadelphia Zoo, PWD, Academy of Natural Sciences, and Temple University departments and student organizations!


Staff from the Water Department’s Office of Watersheds shared the idea of bringing together the City of Philadelphia with its water through the Green City, Clean Waters program.  Included in the exhibit was an activity, “Good Bugs/Bad Bugs”, to help demonstrate the crucial role insects play in testing water quality. 

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