Philadelphia to focus on sustainable stormwater infrastructure

Once again, I am opposed to huge river dead zones so I am heartened by another story of responsible development.

Philadelphia Storm Water Plans

With a proposed investment of $800 million in green stormwater infrastructure, the city of Philadelphia Water Department says it plans to become America’s model for urban water utilities in the 21st century. The bold new Green City, Clean Waters plan calls for the city to spend 66 percent of a $1.2 billion capital improvement budget on green systems that capture rainwater where it falls rather than piping it into costly detention systems beneath the city.

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“Greening is the bottom line,” Abrams said. “Planting street trees in a very specific way to capture the water, and using things like rain gardens and rain barrels, flow-through planters, green roofs … all of these are tools,” he said. “There’s no one approach. In some ways, it’s a challenge. There are many different approaches we can use to manage the water where it’s falling and keep as much of it out of our sewer system as possible.”

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Barletta said another advantage to green infrastructure is that the benefits begin taking effect immediately and gradually increase over time, as opposed to traditional systems that must be paid for years in advance of them going online and gradually deteriorate over time.

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