Philadelphia Water Department

Can You Decode Street Paint?

Beneath your feet, there’s an invisible universe of infrastructure.

This world is hidden from view, but painted lines on the surface reveal exactly what’s there—if you know what to look for. Swipe through this gallery featured on our Instagram account to find out what commonly seen paint colors on the street mean:

Ralph Brooks Groundbreaking Rescheduled... Again

RESCHEDULED
The Ralph Brooks Groubdbreaking event will take place today!
Please join Philadelphia Eagle Connor Barwin, Mayor Michael Nutter, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, PWD Commissioner Howard Neukrug, Urban Roots, and more as we kick off this fantastic project. 

WHAT: Ralph Brooks Groundbreaking
WHEN: Monday, December 22, 2014 at 2:30 PM
WHERE: Ralph Brooks Park, 20th and Tasker Streets

To learn more about the project, check out our earlier blog post.
A flyer for this event can be downloaded here.

Rendering of Ralph Brooks Park  

Ralph Brooks Groundbreaking Rescheduled

RESCHEDULED!
We are pleased to announce the new date for the Ralph Brooks Groubdbreaking.

WHAT: Ralph Brooks Groundbreaking
WHEN: Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 2:30 PM
WHERE: Ralph Brooks Park, 20th and Tasker Streets

Rendering of Ralph Brooks Park

Please join Philadelphia Eagle Connor Barwin, Mayor Michael Nutter, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, State Representative Jordan Harris, PWD Deputy Commissioner Chris Crockett and other partners as we break ground on a revitalization project for Ralph Brooks Park in Point Breeze. 

Ralph Brooks Tot Lot, a small playground with basketball courts and a play area for children, was named after a seven year old boy who was shot and paralyzed at the site in 1988. The shooting galvanized the community and the park has carried his name as a symbol against violence ever since. The park, now over 25 years old, has seen better days...and soon it will again.

After years of hard work, fundraising and collaboration, multiple partners have joined forces to revitalize Ralph Brooks Park. Tuesday will be the groundbreaking for the first phase of the project, which will include new basketball courts, new play equipment, sidewalk improvements, tree plantings and a rain garden which will manage stormwater runoff from the site.

PWD is proud to be involved with multiple partners working on this project:

To download a .pdf flyer for this groundbreaking event, click here.

1st Annual Mill Creek Tour

 

Mill Creek can be found on 19th century maps of Philadelphia, draining more than 4,000 acres of West Philadelphia with its main stem and tributaries. Look at a map today and you may find names associated with the waterway, but you won’t find any signs of the stream itself. So what happened to Mill Creek? To find out, join Adam Levine and Drew Brown of the Philadelphia Water Department on a bus tour that will explore the history of the old creek. Tracing its now hidden path, you will hear stories about the creek itself as well as the industry and farmland once found along its banks. The tour will include a discussion about the consequences of burying a creek in a pipe and building a city above it.

 

Each participant will receive an illustrated booklet highlighting the creek's past and present, as well as a map showing where the stream once ran. All money collected from the tour will go directly to the Overbrook Environmental Education Center, which works to improve the environment of the Overbrook neighborhood through a variety of programs. Participants are welcome to learn more about the OEEC and visit its facilities at the end of the tour.

 

Mill Creek Bus Tour with Adam Levine and Drew Brown of PWD
Saturday, December 6, 2014 8:45

am to 1:00 pm COST: $10 per person


Space is limited. Please call (215) 879-7770 to check availability and reserve your spot. This tour will be offered again in the near future. 


The bus will leave from and return to Overbrook Environmental Education Center, 6134 Lancaster Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19151. Tour will be held rain or shine, but IN CASE OF ICE OR SNOW, it may be postponed. For information, call OEEC the morning of the tour at (215) 879-7770.

Introducing Stormwater Pioneers!

More and more Philadelphia businesses are using green infrastructure to manage stormwater runoff on their properties. Whether required by PWD regulations or encouraged through incentives, private property owners recognize the important role they play in reducing pollution in our streams when it rains. They are also setting a higher bar with excellent, cost-effective designs.

That’s why PWD recently launched Stormwater Pioneers, a program to highlight the work of innovative business owners and design teams. Stormwater Pioneers acknowledges the very best in stormwater management on private property. The program showcases innovation, excellence, the ability to overcome technical challenges and a true dedication by the property owners, developers, engineers and designers to reduce stormwater runoff.

The first Stormwater Pioneer is Stanley’s True Value Hardware, which has operated as a family-run business in Roxborough for 66 years. After decades of working in a cramped store, brothers Mark and Joseph Jaconski decided to build a new store on their current property. The construction of an expanded facility required the brothers to meet PWD’s Stormwater Regulations. They also decided to protect the environment for the next generation. Their solution was a comprehensive design that utilizes a beautiful rain garden and three underground infiltration basins, which capture runoff and infiltrate it into the ground. 

The property at 5555 Ridge Avenue will be dedicated on Thursday, November 20th at 2 pm. Join Councilman Curtis Jones, Water Department Deputy Commissioner Chris Crockett, the Roxborough Development Corporation and the Central Roxborough Civic Association as they honor the Jaconski brothers and Ruggerio Plante Land Design for their part in protecting the health of Philadelphia’s rivers through excellent site design.

Break Ground at Ralph Brooks Park with Philadelphia Eagle Connor Barwin

Please join Philadelphia Eagle Connor Barwin, Deputy Mayor Michael DeBerardinis, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and PWD Deputy Commissioner Chris Crockett for...

WHAT: Ralph Brooks Groundbreaking
WHEN: Monday, November 17, 2014 at 3:30 PM
WHERE: Ralph Brooks Park, 20th and Tasker Streets


Ralph Brooks Tot Lot, a small playground in Point Breeze with basketball courts and a play area for children, was named after a seven year old boy who was shot and paralyzed at the site in 1988. The shooting galvanized the community and the park has carried his name as a symbol against violence ever since. The park, now over 25 years old, has seen better days...and soon it will again.

After years of hard work, fundraising and collaboration, multiple partners have joined forces to revitalize Ralph Brooks Park. Monday will be the groundbreaking for the first phase of the project, which will include new basketball courts, new play equipment, sidewalk improvements, tree plantings, and a rain garden which will manage stormwater runoff from the site.

To learn more about the project and how Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Connor Barwin is involved, check out this video, Connor Barwin As Green As It Gets.

PWD is proud to be involved with a host of partners working on this project including:

To download a .pdf flyer for this groundbreaking event, click here.

Green City, Clean Waters Wins Planning Excellence Award

APA Award

Congratulations to our Green City, Clean Waters program for being awarded the American Planning Association (APA) Pennsylvania Chapter's Planning Excellence Award in Implementation! The annual award is given to those whose work exemplifies the best and brightest in Pennsylvania Planning. Jessica Noon and Liz Svekla, planners in the Office of Watersheds at PWD, accepted the award at the PA APA annual conference on October 14, 2014. Pennsylvania Chapter President Brian O’Leary presented the award during a luncheon ceremony in front of 500+ planning peers.

During the conference PWD staff led a tour of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) projects at the Big Green Block. Ten conference participants from communities across Pennsylvania attended the tour to see rain gardens, green roofs, tree trenches and more. Participants learned about GSI design and maintenance; successful partnerships with agencies and stakeholders; stormwater regulations; and the importance of community involvement.

Jessica Noon, Amy Liu, Nicole Hostettler and Liz Svekla from PWD attended the conference sessions and returned to the Water Department with new ideas and inspiration from other parts of Pennsylvania.

Special thanks to APA PA conference committee chairs Susan Shermer, Denny Puko and Keith McNally for coordinating our tour and award!

Greening Lea Playground

Lea Elementary School Playground before the Greening Lea Project
Lea Elementary School Playground before the Greening Lea Project


Lea Elementary School Playground after phase l of the Greening Lea Project

Congratulations to Lea Elementary School which recently completed phase I of its playground transformation project! Previously an asphalt lot, the Greening Lea project will revitalize the school’s 41,000 square foot playground and convert it into a vibrant, fun educational space for the school and the larger community. The Philadelphia Water Department awarded the West Philadelphia Coalition for Neighborhood Schools (WPCNS), which is spearheading the project, a $242,000 Stormwater Management Incentives Program grant for the project, which will include a porous play surface, a rain garden and other green tools to manage stormwater runoff. 

WPCNS has been working since 2012 to revamp the play areas and brought in parents, students, volunteer design professionals, the Community Design Collaborative, the School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Water Department, who worked together to create a master plan for the schoolyard. On September 19 there was a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the expansion of the existing play set to include a play set from nearby Wilson Elementary School, which was closed in 2013. Beneath both play sets a colorful, squishy porous surface was installed that provides a soft landing for kids while also capturing stormwater that falls on the site.  

The new play area and porous surface are just the beginning of the transformation for Lea. Later phases of the project include installing rain gardens, new trees, a new basketball court, a stage area and more. You can read more about this project in the Philadelphia Tribune and on the WPCNS website.

Villanova Planting at Harper’s Hollow

Volunteers at Harper's Hollow Planting

The Philadelphia Water Department would like to give a big shout out to all of the volunteers who helped plant a rain garden at Harper’s Hollow Park on Saturday, September 27. This successful planting was one of the Villanova University Day of Service projects. The annual Day of Service is a volunteer day that brings together nearly 5,000 students, faculty, staff and alumni who give their time and service throughout Greater Philadelphia. In addition to two Villanova University professors and 16 Villanova students, the planting was attended by members of Friends of Harper’s Hollow, people from the neighborhood and PWD employees that came together, got their hands dirty and installed nearly 100 plants.

The plants for the rain garden were graciously donated by Dr. Robert Traver, a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership program, and his lab. Thirty-eight shrub species were planted, including red chokeberries, sweet pepperbushes, and shamrock inkberries, and 60 herbaceous plants were installed, including moonbeam tickseeds, magnus purple coneflowers, and white swan purple coneflowers.

It was a beautiful day and a hugely successful planting. Thanks once again to everyone who came together to get the all the plants in the ground.  We look forward to seeing the plants take root and grow into a mature rain garden. 

Meet the 2014 Philadelphia Spokesdog Winners!

Spokesdog Winners!

Gracie (left) and Daisy Ann (right) are this year's Spokesdog competition winners!
Photos by Shaun Bailey of Partnership for the Delaware Estuary. 

Congratulations to the winners of our 2014 Philly Water’s Best Friend Spokesdog Competition: Daisy Ann, a hound dog from Lower Moyamensing and Gracie, a corgi from Juniata! These two eco-friendly pups and their guardians will teach neighbors about the importance of picking up after their pets to keep our waterways clean.

The Partnership for Delaware Estuary and the Philadelphia Water Department team up every year to host the Spokesdog Competition. Now in its fourth year, the competition crowns two dogs from Philadelphia who will serve (with their guardians) as clean water ambassadors to the city for one year. They spread the word about picking up pet waste at neighborhood events, hand out free pet waste bags and get featured on promotional and educational materials. In return, the winners receive prizes for their pooches including toys, treats, and grooming services. 

This year’s competitions were held on Saturday, September 20th at the Lower Moyamensing Flea Market and on Saturday, September 27 at the Juniata Fest. Hound dog Daisy Ann and guardian Eileen Burns were the winners in Lower Moyamensing and corgi Gracie and guardian Michelle Shaw were the winners in Juniata. They each received $250 worth of prizes for their pups! 

Pet waste is a “poo-lutant” that is harmful to the environment, especially to rivers. Pet waste that stays on the ground can get washed into our sewer system and overflow into our rivers. Once in the river, it can fuel excessive growth of aquatic algae which robs the water of oxygen, potentially killing fish and other species. It can also pollute the land and water with disease-causing bacteria. Luckily, there’s a simple solution—pet owners should flush waste down the toilet (not in a bag) where it can be treated at a sewage treatment plant, or discarded in the trash using a biodegradable bag. 

Check out photos of the event from the Parternship for Delaware Estuary at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/delawareestuary.

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