Our Stormwater Incentives team is taking on an unlikely role: matchmaking.
The Stormwater Grants Program has helped support the installation of dozens of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) projects on private properties around Philadelphia for more than a decade. These spectacular additions help to make our communities greener, decrease monthly stormwater bills, and prevent combined sewer overflows from polluting our local creeks and rivers.
However, we’re only 11 years into a 25-year goal of reducing more than 2 billion gallons of pollution in our waterways. To keep this momentum, we need to expand our private partnerships.
Knowing any stormwater retrofit project (what we call adding GSI to an already-built property) can be an intimidating undertaking for property owners, we want to help ease the process. In June, we officially launched Stormwater Connect—an online tool designed to link green stormwater vendors with non-residential property owners.
Why We Created It
Over the past 10 years, more than 230 grants totaling more than $158 million have been awarded to non-residential properties, such as schools and businesses, around Philadelphia to install GSI. And nearly a third of Greened Acres implemented through Green City, Clean Waters were made possible by non-residential properties taking advantage of our Stormwater Incentives, including the Grants Program.
Through the Grants program, there are a variety of ways GSI projects get started, including when vendors reach out to property owners.
Much like online dating websites help people find romantic partners, we created an online platform to help property owners find the “right match” to partner with on their retrofit journeys.
“Stormwater Connect is an online web-application that assists vendors in making initial connections with property owners interested in the Stormwater Grants program,” says Beth Anne Lutes, PWD’s Stormwater Billing and Incentives Manager. ”Similar to an online dating profile, the tool is used to determine whether a property owner and vendor could be a good fit in pursuing a grant project together.”
How It Works
Vendors and property owners sign up to share their specifications, specialities, and interests.
Once vendors complete a profile, they can start searching potential projects that align with their expertise.
When a property owner signs up, they will find a list of vendors that match their needs using filters, such as experience building particular GSI, and vendors they're interested in are notified.
From there, vendors can request a direct follow-up. Once connected, they can confirm what is possible on the non-residential site and a Stormwater Grant team partnership can be formed.
Then, the team applies for a grant, which can cover up to 100% of design and construction costs.
Meet your Match!
- Stormwater retrofit vendors are encouraged to create an account on the Stormwater Connect site. (New accounts will be vetted prior to gaining access.)
- Owners of non-residential properties can find the ideal vendor that meets their needs on the site.
Not sure yet? Explore how this could reduce your monthly stormwater bill with our Credits Explorer first.
“The Stormwater Incentives team is excited for this new way to facilitate communication between interested property owners and stormwater retrofit vendors, while also being able to provide information and resources from PWD directly,” says Carla Windt of the Stormwater Billing & Incentives Team. “We hope to lower the barrier to entry to the Stormwater Grants program by facilitating the upfront work it takes to meet a vendor that can fulfill the property owner’s vision for their site.”
Are you ready to apply?
This upcoming year, Stormwater Grants will have two deadlines! The next Stormwater Grant deadline is October 15th, 2022.
In addition, be on the lookout for another round of Stormwater Grant applications with a second deadline on March 15th, 2023.
- Pre-application meetings for the October 15 deadline grant round will be open from August 1st–September 30th. Request a pre-application meeting online →
- The Stormwater Grants Application Guide is freshly updated – take a look as you begin your application process.
- Check the Stormwater Grants page for the most up-to-date resources and link to the application when it opens!