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.