A green solution to an aging stormwater system

Apr 9, 2020

Julie Slavet leaned over the concrete culvert where Rock Run meets Tacony Creek and sniffed.

“At least it doesn’t smell today,” she said, crediting the chilly air.

Still, the cold did nothing to hide the shimmering brown-green stains on rocks or the toilet paper, condoms and other best-not-identified objects ensnared in overhanging branches where high water had flushed them out of the sewers.

“Kids swim just below here in the summer,” said Slavet, director of the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership, which has been collaborating with the city’s efforts to rid this 300-acre Northeast Philadelphia park of the putrid discharge by installing rain gardens, brightly painted trash cans and a giant water storage tank beneath a baseball field.

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