We'll have a more detailed post in the coming week concerning the performance of Philadelphia's green stormwater infrastructure during Hurricane Irene, but the preliminary report from Percy Street—the city's first porous street, unveiled in June—indicates a unanimous victory for this green project:

  • There was no visual evidence of ponding (rainwater collecting in surface pools) on Percy Street during the storm, as the porous pavement handled the rainfall as expected.
  • The gravel bed below the street's surface filled up one inch at one end of the street and did not register any water filling it at the other end, suggesting that the rain was infiltrating the ground below the system as designed.

The Philadelphia Water Department observed several green infrastructure projects—stormwater tree trenches, a porous basketball court and a stormwater basin—during the storm, and we'll report on the results as the data comes in. Check out our Big Green Map to locate a green stormwater project near you.