downspout planters

Embrace the Rain: Get in on Our Rain Check Program Today!

It seems as if everyone in Philadelphia has had enough of the wet spring we've been having.

Picking up on those soggy feelings, CBS Philly did a short segment on one great way to cope with all the showers—our Rain Check program.
Check out the rain barrel setup and beautiful planter in the video below, and think about signing up for Rain Check to get a stormwater tool for your home:

While being part of the Rain Check program won't chase the clouds away, you can help to keep excess stormwater out our sewers and protect Philly's rivers while getting a free barrel or reduced-cost downspout planter, rain garden or permeable patio. Water collected in rain barrels can be used for things like watering flowers, and planters and rain gardens are a great way of adding landscaping to your property that also happens to protect the environment.

Click here to learn about other green home improvement projects and to sign up for a Rain Check workshop that will help you find the right stormwater tool for your home!

Landscaping That Helps Our Rivers? Tune in to ‘Radio Times’ Tomorrow and Get Inspired!


Ditch the Concrete: This yard was depaved through Philadelphia Water’s Rain Check program, which helps homeowners build and pay for green tools that beautify properties and improve local water quality. Credit: Philadelphia Water

Concrete and asphalt — not exactly materials you associate with the beauty of spring in Philadelphia, right?

In addition to being unpleasant to look at, these materials contribute to the urban “heat island” effect, amplify noise pollution, and divert water from storms into our (often overwhelmed) sewer system instead of allowing it to slowly filter into the ground naturally.

That last problem—the water-repelling or “impervious” nature of roofs, driveways, sidewalks and concrete-covered backyards—is something that Philadelphia Water has been working to address through our Rain Check program. By educating and working with homeowners through Rain Check, we’ve made hundreds of properties in the city not only more beautiful, but also better at managing stormwater that can damage homes and pollute our waterways. We’ve also given away over 4,000 free rain barrels to Philadelphia residents since 2006.

RainCheck Goes Citywide

Depaved yard A residential yard depaved through the RainCheck program.

Good news! We made some exciting changes to our Rain Check program. Working together with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) and Sustainable Business Network (SBN) we've expanded our reach, streamlined our process and increased our team of qualified contractors.

What has changed?  First – the program is now open to residents in the entire City. Prior to April 1st, downspout planters, rain gardens and masonry projects were only available to residents who lived in the Combined Sewer Area of Philadelphia. As of today, any resident can sign up.

Second – we’re merging all of our Stormwater Tools (rain barrels, downspout planters, rain gardens and porous pavement) into one program, called Rain Check. Don't worry, rain barrels are still free! Now you can explore all of these Stormwater Tools by attending a free Rain Check Workshop.  

Lastly – we’re offering Rain Check Workshops more frequently and in more Philadelphia neighborhoods. Everyone who participates in the program is required to attend a workshop. As we expand the program, we’re looking for hosts for our Rain Check workshops. If you think your community would be a good place for a workshop, contact Guina Hammond (ghammond@pennhort.org) at PHS. 

Through Rain Check, PWD provides free rain barrels and helps pay for downspout planters, rain gardens, de-paving and porous pavements. Sign up here: www.phillywatersheds.org/raincheck or call PHS Information Services (215) 988-1698. 

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