Green City, Clean Waters is Philadelphia's 25-year plan to protect and enhance our watersheds by managing stormwater with innovative green infrastructure. The Philadelphia Water Department developed Green City, Clean Waters to provide a clear pathway to a sustainable future while strengthening the utility, broadening its mission, and complying with environmental laws and regulations.

Nationwide, water utilities are confronting a new set of complex environmental, demographic and financial challenges while also trying to meet customer expectations for a safe and affordable water supply; the collection and treatment of wastewater and stormwater; flood protection; and clean, attractive, fishable, swimmable rivers and streams. There are also new challenges posed by aging infrastructure and the impacts of climate change on human health and our ecosystems. Meeting these challenges requires either a significant new investment in "grey" infrastructure (underground storage tanks and pipes) or a paradigm shift in our approach to urban water resources.

Over the past decade, PWD has created, tested and implemented new strategies to promote the economic and social growth of the City and meet environmental, ecological and business missions. As the City agency charged with ensuring compliance with the Federal Clean Water Act, PWD developed Green City, Clean Waters to protect and enhance our waterways by using green infrastructure systems that assist or mimic natural processes.


Images above are design concepts only

 

2011-2012 Green City, Clean Waters Year in Review

There has been lots of excitement and major successes for the City of Philadelphia since the Green City, Clean Waters plan was signed back in June, 2011: new green stormwater infrastructure has been constructed; numerous designs are underway; opportunities to engage citizens are growing, among a variety of other initiatives. To commemorate our achievements, the Philadelphia Water Department is proud to share with you a photojournalistic glimpse into the highlights of the past year -
2011-2012 Green City, Clean Waters Year in Review
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Related Blog: Giving Thanks

 

Key Concepts

To learn more about Green City, Clean Waters, we recommend you start with the Summary Report. To help you understand the terminology and issues behind Green City, Clean Waters (technically known as the CSO Long Term Control Plan Update), here are some key concepts that inform our planning and solutions:

 

Stormwater Management Tools

How do we keep stormwater from causing sewer overflows into our rivers and streams? PWD's green stormwater infrastructure tools evaporate some of the runoff into the ground, evaporate a portion of it into the air, and in some cases slowly release the water into the sewer system.
Stormwater Planter
 
Porous Pavement
   
Stormwater Wetland

more tools >>

 

Videos      The Big Green Map

Green City, Clean Waters


Green Homes
   
Columbus Square Park


Greener, Healthier Playgrounds
                   
  more videos >>   view our green infrastructure projects >>

 

CSO Long Term Control Plan Update Documents

EPA Administrative Order for Compliance on Consent

Administrative Order for Compliance on Consent executed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on September, 21, 2012.

EPA Administrative Order for Compliance on Consent

EPA Partnership Agreement

On April 10, 2012, the City of Philadelphia and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed a partnership agreement to recognize the Green City, Clean Waters plan and its approach to stormwater management.

EPA Green City, Clean Waters Partnership Agreement

PA DEP Consent Order and Agreement

Consent Order and Agreement executed with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on June 1, 2011 for the implementation of the Philadelphia Water Department's Combined Sewer Overflow Long Term Control Plan Update (Green City, Clean Waters Plan)

Complete Document (5.5 MB)

Consent Order and Agreement
Appendix A - Please contact PA DEP for more information
Appendix B - National CSO Policy
Appendix C - Pennsylvania CSO Policy
Appendix D - PWD's October 28, 2010 letter to DEP
Appendix E - Supplemental Documentation in support of the City of Philadelphia's Combined Sewer Overflow Long Term Control Plan Update, April 2011
Appendix F - Example of a dry-weather discharge report, such as is typically provided with the periodic CSO Status Reports
Appendix G - Short descriptions of Deliverables listed in Paragraph 3.a
Appendix H - DEP Approval Letter
Appendix I - 2012 NPDES Permits - Part C Addendum; Water Quality Requirements section of NPDES Permits, or WQBEL

Consent Order and Agreement Required Deliverables

The following documents were submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as required by Appendix G of the Consent Order and Agreement.

The Implementation and Adaptive Management Plan (IAMP) was submitted to the PADEP by December 1, 2011. This plan provided the implementation framework for the Green City, Clean Waters program proposed in the LTCPU and its supplements. This plan described the programmatic elements that will be developed during the first five years of COA implementation.

Implementation and Adaptive Management Plan (1.1 MB)

Appendices (5.7 MB)

PWD Response to PA DEP Comments on the Implementation and Adaptive Management Plan

PA DEP Approval Letter for the Implementation and Adaptive Management Plan and the Maintenance Manual Development Process Plan

The Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Maintenance Manual Development Process Plan was submitted to the PADEP by June 1, 2012. This plan describes the current green stormwater infrastructure maintenance program and provides an overview of the process to develop the GSI Maintenance Manual by June 1, 2014.

Green Infrastructure Maintenance Manual Development Process Plan (1 MB)

PA DEP Approval Letter for the Implementation and Adaptive Management Plan and the Maintenance Manual Development Process Plan

A revised Clean Waters Comprehensive Monitoring Plan was submitted to the PADEP and USEPA January 10, 2014. The plan has been revised to incorporate PWD's responses to comments received from PADEP and USEPA. The revised plan is currently under review for approval. It is our initial plan for performing monitoring of natural and engineered systems associated with our Green City, Clean Waters program and addresses the monitoring and assessment of surface waters, groundwater, rainfall, CSO discharges, sewer flows, and green infrastructure performance.

Comprehensive Monitoring Plan (10.1 MB)


The Facility Concept Plans for the three Water Pollution Control Plants (NE, SE, SW) were submitted to the PADEP by June 1, 2013. These plans describe the specific engineering and construction activities proposed to increase the maximum wet weather flow into each water pollution control plant facility and thereby increase the capture rate of combined sewage.

Northeast Facility Concept Plan
Northeast WPCP FCP Appendix A
Southeast Facility Concept Plan
Southwest Facility Concept Plan

The Updated Nine Minimum Controls Report was submitted to the PADEP by June 1, 2013. This report is an update to the 1995 "Implementation of Nine Minimum Controls" document and indicates how the City's activities are being carried out currently, and highlight how these activities may have changed as a result of new technology, new practice, or other circumstances to address the CSO Nine Minimum Controls.

Updated Nine Minimum Controls Report (1.51 MB)
Appendix I - Implementation of the Nine Minimum Controls (13.5 MB)

The Tributary Water Quality Model for Bacteria was submitted to the PADEP by June 1, 2013. This report describes the methods and results of a model that simulates bacteria concentrations in the nontidal reaches of Tacony/Frankford Creek and the Cobbs Creek that are affected by CSOs.

Tributary Water Quality Model for Bacteria Report (6.65 MB)
Appendices - Tributary Water Quality Model for Bacteria Report (3.46 MB)

Summary Report

Summary Report - amended June 1, 2011

High Resolution (95 MB)
Low Resolution (4.5 MB)

Partnerships

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the City of Philadelphia have partnered to advance green infrastructure for urban wet weather pollution control. This partnership assures EPA’s support of Philadelphia’s adoption of green infrastructure to improve both water quality and the sustainability of its neighborhoods. Read agreement >>


The U.S.-Brazil Joint Initiative on Urban Sustainability is an innovative public-private partnership for catalyzing investment in sustainable urban infrastructure. Rio de Janeiro and Philadelphia have partnered to identify opportunities for scaling up investment in urban sustainability. more >>