Join us tomorrow, Thursday March 1 in front of the Shissler Recreation Center at 4:30 for the premiere Soak It Up, Philly! event. Soak It Up Thursdays—happening throughout the city during March and April—are celebrations of the Philadelphia Water Department’s efforts to reduce pollution entering our creeks and rivers by greening our city and beautifying our neighborhoods. It’s all part of the 25-year Green City, Clean Waters plan to install green infrastructure that absorbs stormwater runoff. Come on out for free refreshments and a tour of the Big Green Block, a project that includes improvements and green infrastructure installation at the Shissler Rec Center and surrounding streets (Blair Street is pictured above). After the jump, some Soak It Up, Philly! facts:

Did you know?

  • Your drinking water comes from the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers
  • 60% of Philadelphia is covered in hard surfaces, like roads and rooftops that prevent rainwater from soaking into the ground
  • When it rains in Philadelphia, much of the water that runs off our roofs, roads and parking lots ends up in the same sewer pipes that transport water from our toilets and sinks to one of three treatment plants
  • When too much water from rain or melting snow flows into the underground sewer system, the pipes are designed to overflow, dumping a mix of  sewage and rain (stormwater) runoff  directly into our creeks and rivers.
  • Pipes are not the only way to manage water runoff
  • Philadelphia has the most innovative and sustainable plan in the country to combat water pollution and to manage stormwater in a way that is healthy for our streams, rivers and City! The Philadelphia Water Department is leading the country with its Green City, Clean Waters plan, unlike any other city in history. Go Philly!

So how do we keep our streams clean?  
We can keep pollution out of our creeks and rivers by holding rainwater where it lands and helping it soak into the ground instead of channeling it into underground pipes. PWD is working to keep rainwater where it lands using a variety of green tools, such as Stormwater Tree Trenches, Stormwater Bumpouts, and Rain Gardens. Each tool catches stormwater runoff and temporarily holds it in place in order for the water to slowly soak into the soil, letting plants and tree roots Soak It Up!