What We're Doing

Our vision is to unite Philadelphia with its water environment, creating a green legacy while incorporating a balance between ecology, economics, and equity.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

The Philadelphia Water Department is committed to a balanced "land-water-infrastructure" approach to achieve its watershed management goals. Where appropriate, this method includes infrastructure-based approaches but focuses on implementation of a range of land-based stormwater management techniques and physical reconstruction of aquatic habitats. The ultimate goal of PWD's approach is to regain the resources in and around streams that have been lost due to urbanization while achieving regulatory compliance objectives in a cost-effective manner.

PWD’s Green City, Clean Waters program is the philosophy of a land-water-infrastructure approach made real. Green stormwater infrastructure includes a range of soil-water-plant systems that intercept stormwater, infiltrate a portion of it into the ground, evaporate a portion of it into the air, and in some cases release a portion of it slowly back into the sewer system. more >>

Waterways Restoration

Years of traditional development practices have altered natural hydrologic patterns and ecosystems. We are only now learning to work with nature and design projects that restore some of these processes to a more natural state.

PWD's vision for restoring our waterways includes stabilizing streambanks and promoting regular base flow ratios, maintaining healthy, trash-free waterways and protecting the riparian buffer to provide a safe habitat for wildlife and aquatic life. more >>

Watershed Assessment, Research and Planning

Waterways Assessment
By examining aquatic life, water chemistry, and physical habitat, we are able to comprehensively measure the health of our rivers and streams. Watershed assessments provide technical information that is used to guide planning and restoration efforts. The Office of Watersheds also provides technical assistance to our project partners and watershed stakeholders for data collection, data analysis, public education, and information technology tasks. more >>

Research and Planning
The programs we implement to improve the health of Philadelphia's waterways are directly informed by our extensive research and planning efforts. more >>

Maps, Documents and Data

View and download watershed maps or create your own with our interactive mapping tool. more >>

From educational pamphlets to scientific assessment reports and data, we've assembled a collection of representative document, data and links so both public and technical audiences can learn more about what we're doing. more >>

Community Partnerships


Community partnerships engage residents, civic associations and neighborhood groups to educate them on the approaches to stormwater management, to coordinate the implementation of stormwater management practices and to solicit feedback. more >>