Media Alert: New App Can Help Property Owners Save, Increase Green Space
For Immediate Release
Contact: Brian.Rademaekers@phila.gov | (215) 380-9327
New App: Property Owners Can Reduce Stormwater Costs, Protect Waterways
PHILADELPHIA – Stormwater Connect—a new application that links vendors specializing in stormwater management improvements with non-residential property owners looking to save money on water bills and help local waterways—is now online and ready to use in Philadelphia.
Created by the Philadelphia Water Department’s Stormwater Billing and Incentives staff, working alongside the award-winning developer Azavea, Stormwater Connect was soft-launched over the summer.
The application was designed to make it easier for non-residential property owners to take advantage of the Water Department’s Stormwater Grants program, which has paved the way for the installation of nearly 200 green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) projects on private, non-residential properties over the last decade. These projects are a key piece of Green City, Clean Waters, the City’s multibillion dollar plan to reduce combined sewer overflow pollution in local waterways.
Green stormwater projects on non-residential properties enhance neighborhood quality of life, help prevent combined sewer overflows from polluting local creeks and rivers, and can even decrease monthly stormwater bills.
How It Works
Not unlike the model used by many dating apps, stormwater management vendors and property owners can create profiles on Stormwater Connect to share their specifications, specialties, and interests.
After vendors complete a profile, they search for 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 types of green infrastructure like rain gardens or underground storage basins. Vendors are notified when property owners indicate interest.
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 Stormwater Grant, which can cover up to 100 percent of design and construction costs. Property owners who complete qualifying projects can benefit from credits that provide significant savings on monthly stormwater fees. Read about the Stormwater Credits Program here.
How It Helps Our Rivers
Stormwater Grants are a powerful driver in the success of Green City, Clean Waters, Philadelphia’s 25-year plan to reduce combined sewer overflow pollution in our waterways.
Over the past 11 years, more than 230 grants totaling more than $158 million have been awarded to incentivize GSI on non-residential properties such as schools and businesses. And nearly a third of Greened Acres implemented through Green City, Clean Waters were made possible by non-residential properties taking advantage of PWD Stormwater Incentives, including the Grants Program.
“Our stormwater grants and incentives are such a critical part of what keeps the Green City, Clean Waters program growing,” says Beth Anne Lutes, Stormwater Billing and Incentives Program Manager. “To keep this momentum, the Water Department is expanding private partnerships and connecting more property owners with the really amazing upsides of adding green stormwater systems to their spaces. This app does so much of the work for property owners, and we really think it has the potential to grow the green infrastructure people see in their communities.”
Interested property owners and construction firms can learn more and create a profile at water.phila.gov/stormwater/connect/