STATE GRANT WILL ASSIST “GREEN”
PHILADELPHIA, June 12, 2008
– The Philadelphia Water Department is launching demonstration projects
throughout the city to help develop green infrastructure. The program is funded
in part by a $300,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and
Natural Resources, obtained by state Senator Vince Fumo (D-Philadelphia).
Fumo helped kick off the Green Streets Demonstration
Projects today, appearing at two sites in South Philadelphia and Northern
Liberties where the department has installed green infrastructure components.
The department is exploring the feasibility of using them as the primary
storm-water runoff control measure. The events included an inspection of the
sites and an illustration of how they work. There was also an Information Fair
on the Green Cities, Clean Water program, the strategy for significantly
reducing the combined sewer overflows into rivers and streams.
“The Philadelphia Water Department’s Green Cities,
Clean Water Program is an important step toward establishing a green
infrastructure in our City. It will blend land, waterway, infrastructure and
sustainability practices to support policies and programs that are targeted to
protect our drinking water supply. They will also help preserve and protect our
waterways, and our fish and wildlife habitat,” Fumo said.
“When we heard about the opportunity to help the Green
Streets Demonstration Projects in South Philadelphia and Northern Liberties, we
were thrilled to participate. This is an excellent way to help create model
green infrastructure projects that may be replicated throughout the city,” he
The South Philadelphia site is at the Columbus Square
Playground, 12th and Wharton Streets. The Northern Liberties demonstration
project is Liberty Lands, at 3rd and Wildey Streets.
By designing and constructing demonstration projects
around the city, the department hopes to develop a better understanding of green
infrastructure, including factors such as the cost of construction, maintenance
costs and requirements, effectiveness of storm-water management, and
coordination with other City agencies and utilities. The goal of the
demonstration project is to create standards designs for green infrastructure
that can be implemented on a broad scale throughout Philadelphia. Gray
infrastructure – increased conveyance and storage capacity followed by treatment
– would be used only as required.
The demonstration components at Columbus Square and
Liberty Lands include porous pavers, sidewalk infiltration planters, vegetated
swales and rain gardens.
“This combination of green and gray infrastructure will
help prevent combined sewer overflows and will reduce the occurrences of
basement flooding from sewer back-ups,” Fumo said. “My office is working closely
with the Water Department, our other partners, and especially the residents to
incorporate the Green Streets Program into various sections of this district
because we want to help transform Philadelphia into a city celebrated for its
environmentally sensitive and beautiful parks, streams and rivers.”
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