Green Stormwater Infrastructure
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.
Impervious surfaces, such as roadways and buildings, are characteristic of urbanized landscapes. As land development increases, it leads to replacement of pervious areas with impervious surfaces, causing an increase in stormwater runoff volume and combined sewer overﬂow (CSO) episodes. In turn, this affects Philadelphia's watersheds by impairing water quality and degrading stream habitats. Our vision is to protect and enhance our watersheds by managing stormwater runoff with innovative green stormwater infrastructure throughout our City, maximizing economic, social, and environmental benefits for Philadelphia.
Integrating green stormwater infrastructure into a highly developed area such as Philadelphia requires a decentralized and creative approach to planning and design. Various tools can be implemented to accomplish this, including stormwater planters, rain gardens and green roofs. All of these tools help to reduce runoff volume and filter pollutants by intercepting stormwater runoff before it enters the City's combined sewer system.
We're continuously exploring innovative ways to implement green infrastructure tools. Through our eight Land-Based Green programs, we will achieve our goals of reducing localized flooding, reducing combined sewer overflows, and improving water quality while also improving the quality of life of residents.