Coming up: Join Us to Discuss Ideas for Growing Private Green Infrastructure

Have ideas for helping create more success stories like this one in Philadelphia? We want to hear from you.

We recently issued an official "Request for Information," or RFI, supporting the City's efforts to grow the footprint of green stormwater infrastructure on private and non-City property.

To help answer any questions and provide more details about why we issued this RFI, we're hosting an information session on January 10, 2018.

Starting at 9 a.m., the one-hour info session will take place at Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) headquarters, located at 1101 Market Street. Those interested should come to Conference Room 5A on 5th floor.

Responses to this RFI are due by February 9, 2018.

Starting Today: New Stormwater Regulations Bring Healthier Rivers

Philadelphia's new website for Stormwater Regulations planning and review. Credit: Philadelphia Water.
Philadelphia's new website for Stormwater Regulations planning and review. Credit: Philadelphia Water.

For two years, we’ve been working to update our Stormwater Regulations and Plan Review Program.

Now, the changes are finally here.

From July 1, 2015 forward, development in the city is required to follow updated Stormwater Regulations.

These updates represent the most substantial changes to the regulations in nearly a decade. They ensure new development works alongside Philadelphia Water’s Green City, Clean Waters plan by requiring new sites to handle more water, slow stormwater more effectively, and release cleaner water into our sewers.

In doing all of that, the new regulations also encourage more robust use of green infrastructure across the city.

While we were working to create modernized regulations, we also went to great lengths to make the Plan Review process easier from start to finish by listening to the business community and other stakeholders.

The result is an improved, faster process for submitting and reviewing stormwater plans and a new website that makes our Stormwater Regulations Guidance Manual more accessible. At, users will find a fully searchable, shareable guide and other helpful tools for making sure stormwater plans reflect the new regulations and align with Philadelphia’s vision for a modern stormwater system.

Together, Philadelphia Water and the development community are working to make sure we all have a future defined by smart growth and healthier rivers and streams.

Want to learn more? Public information sessions will be held July 9th and 23rd from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Municipal Services Building, 1401 JFK Blvd. Click here to register.

Stormwater Regulations Update: Learn About Some Important Changes

A green roof on the Granary Building that was built in part to meet Philadelphia Water's Stormwater Regulations. Changes to the regulations are designed to encourage even more private green infrastructure projects. Credit: Philadelphia Water

Every time something new gets built in Philadelphia, it presents an opportunity to improve the way we deal with stormwater runoff—a big source of pollution that hurts our waterways, but often gets overlooked as “just rain.”

In order to make sure new development contributes to Philadelphia’s vision for a modern stormwater system that protects our rivers and creeks, we have a set of standards—collectively called Stormwater Regulations—that let developers know how their property should handle the water that comes from rainstorms and other wet weather events.

It’s been nearly a decade since we established our Stormwater Regulations in 2006, and starting July 1, 2015, new construction projects will have updated rules for managing stormwater. These changes reflect evolving agreements between Philadelphia and the Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection, (the state agency that regulates our local waterways), and the EPA.

In order to make sure the development community and the public are fully aware of our updated Stormwater Regulations, we’re holding a series of public information sessions. If you’re interested in learning more—especially if you’ll be working on a new construction project—you should click here and register to hear more details about the changes.

The information sessions are scheduled for June 23rd and 30th and July 9th and 23rd from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and will be held in the Municipal Services Building, 1401 JFK Blvd.

Stormwater management on development sites is critical to the success of Green City, Clean Waters. Since 2011, private developers have built over 900 green stormwater management tools in the city, and the new regulations will provide incentives for even more.

Quick Read: What the Changes Mean

Water Quality Improvements

Manage more water. The Water Quality Volume will increase from 1 inch to 1.5 inches. This will help reduce combined sewer overflows and local flooding, with minimal impact to site design. Applies to all development sites.

Slow water entering sewers. The peak release rate will decrease from 0.24 to 0.05 cubic feet per second per acre of non-infiltrating impervious area. This will make the rate at which water leaves a site and enters the sewer system equal to the rate at which treatment plants can clean the water. Applies to about 23 percent of projects each year.

Clean water entering sewers. Philadelphia Water will require 100 percent of surface runoff that can’t infiltrate the ground to go through a pollutant reducing practice. This requirement will remove pollution from the dirtiest stormwater on a property. Applies to about 23 percent of projects each year.

Business-Friendly Improvements:

Faster project approvals. Philadelphia Water is introducing “Surface Green Review,” a new expedited review process for sites that use surface practices to manage stormwater.

Simpler application resources. Simplified technical worksheets and Plan Review application resources will improve the quality of submissions and reduce review times. By using these resources, designers will know before submitting that their projects meet regulations.

Accessible information. The new digital Stormwater Management Guidance Manual and Plan Review website will provide better information in a user-friendly format.




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