2012 Summer Conference - PWD Facility Tour
Join the Philadelphia Water Department on a Tour of Green City, Clean Waters
Wednesday, July 18, 2012 — 12:30 – 4:00 PM
Join members of the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) as they showcase sites implemented as a result of their award winning Green City, Clean Waters plan.
Playground Converted to Urban Oasis – Complete with Recycled Tire Basketball Court
The tour begins with a visit to South Philadelphia's Herron Playground, a city-owned facility managed by the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, located in a neighborhood served by a combined sewer system. The Philadelphia Water Department collaborated with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the City’s Capital Program Office to design and construct an infiltration system as part of an overall reconstruction of the playground to manage both on-site and off-site runoff from the adjacent streets. The existing basketball court was reconstructed and resurfaced with porous asphalt. A subsurface infiltration system was installed beneath the basketball court area to manage stormwater runoff from portions of adjoining streets. In addition, a porous safety surface made from recycled tires, a rain garden and new trees were installed on this formerly tree-less site.
Stormwater Planters Reduces Stormwater Runoff in Columbus Square Park
The second stop on the tour will be Columbus Square Park. The stormwater planters at Columbus Square are the first of their kind to be installed by PWD, converting a portion of 13th Street into a Green Street. The Office of Watersheds worked with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and many community partners to design a series of streetside stormwater planters that manage street and sidewalk runoff through infiltration and evapotranspiration (or detention and slow-release when underlying soils do not allow for infiltration). The stormwater planters benefit our streams and rivers by reducing stormwater flows into the overburdened combined sewer system, while benefiting the surrounding community through greening a significant sidewalk area and enhancing neighborhood aesthetics. PWD will use the lessons learned from this project to refine stormwater planter designs and their implementation throughout the City.
Green Street Pilot Project to be Studied, Duplicated
The final stop of the tour will be the 800 block of Percy St., Philadelphia's first porous Green Street. Due to extensive excavation for a new sewer, and subsequent total replacement of the street and sub-base, PWD decided that the Percy Street project provided an opportunity for a porous asphalt pilot project. Porous asphalt significantly reduces stormwater by mimicking the natural system while still maintaining the uses key to the urban environment. By diverting the runoff from entering a nearby storm drain and then into the City’s combined sewer system, PWD was able to reduce the impact of pollution and flooding on our streams and rivers. After seeing the success of the project the street is now being monitored over the coming years for infiltration, winter performance and wear and tear. Other streets needing similar reconstruction in the future will be considered for porous application.
If time permits, you will travel to the Greenfield School, where a parking lot has been transformed into a green schoolyard, including the installation of a stormwater management system with two indigenous Pennsylvania woodland forest rain gardens, permeable recycled play surface, an edible garden, and solar panels on the roof.
For more information on these programs – visit www.phillywatersheds.org.