The Philadelphia Water Department is hosting an open house event for residents and community groups interested in learning about dozens of green stormwater projects planned for construction in the Germantown neighborhood in the coming years.
A part of the City's 25-year Green City, Clean Waters program, the projects are currently in the planning and design stage and include green stormwater tools such as rain gardens and stormwater tree planters.
The event will take place at the Happy Hollow Recreation Center, located at 4800 Wayne Avenue, on Tuesday, October 3. Residents are invited to stop by between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., and refreshments will be served.
Those who register here will get notifications about future events highlighting Germantown projects.
With construction of the earliest projects approximately two years away, the Department's public engagement staff are hosting the open house-style event to gather input from residents and build awareness of the coming green improvements. As is the case at other Green City, Clean Waters investment sites around the city, future community meetings will be scheduled as projects move forward.
The open house format provides a neighborhood-wide perspective of all the green projects planned for Germantown, which is already home to several green stormwater management sites, including Vernon Park and the Washington Lane SEPTA station.
“I am excited about this open house, as it will allow Germantown residents to learn about the green improvements coming to their neighborhood,” says Water Commissioner Debra McCarty. “We want to encourage the residents of Germantown to join us for this event because it helps us gain an understanding of the needs for their neighborhood. The goal is for these green projects to not only improve water quality in area waterways, but also to bring added amenities such as new green spaces and trees to the neighborhood. It's important that the folks who call these blocks home take advantage of this opportunity so their voices are heard and the projects are designed to consider their input.”
The planned projects will help neighborhood streets, sidewalks and parks soak up stormwater during storms, protecting local waterways from polluted runoff and preventing sewer overflows in the community's combined sewer system.
In addition to information about green projects, staff will be on hand to discuss other Philadelphia Water Department programs, including new income-based billing options and Rain Check, which provides free rain barrels and discounts on residential rain gardens and other green home improvement projects.
State and federal regulations require Philadelphia to reduce the amount of pollution entering our rivers and creeks when stormwater (rain or melting snow) causes dirty water and diluted sewage to spill into waterways. Launched in 2011, the Green City, Clean Waters program largely relies on green tools to soak up stormwater. Combined with other sewer infrastructure improvements, projects like this allow Philadelphia to meet regulations and invest in neighborhoods.
As of September 2017, hundreds of green tools located on public and private land throughout the city are soaking up tens of millions of gallons of stormwater every time it rains. Projects created through Green City, Clean Waters investments and regulations can now keep over 1.6 billion gallons of polluted water out of Philadelphia waterways during a typical year.