Philadelphia Water Department Honors Awbury Arboretum as Stormwater Pioneer During Earth Week

Jamilee Hoffman
May 13, 2024

PWD Stormwater Pioneers

We are proud to share this press release from the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD). The Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF) is a long-time partner of both PWD and the Awbury Arboretum.

Our first office was located in the Cope House, and we have collaborated on watershed education, stewardship, and restoration programs for many years. Awbury is a special place in our watershed for many reasons, including the presence of the daylit headwater Wingohocking Creek along its campus on Washington Lane.  In addition, the Project Manager for the award-winning stormwater project, Susan Harris of Cerulean, LLC, has served as TTF’s Project Manager for ten years.

MEDIA CONTACT: Brian.Rademaekers@phila.gov | (215) 380-9327

Philadelphia Water Department Honors Local Institutions as Stormwater Pioneers During Earth Week

Awbury Arboretum and Philadelphia Federal Credit Union recognized for on-site stormwater management.

Visuals: Photos From Today’s Ceremony Available for Download

Apr 25, 2024

Philadelphia — Since 2014, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) has annually honored local Stormwater Pioneers. This award recognizes private properties demonstrating innovation in managing stormwater, which helps sites meet the City’s combined and separate sewer permit requirements while also improving local waterways.

This year, PWD is recognizing Awbury Arboretum and the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union (PFCU). Both institutions have implemented outstanding green stormwater infrastructure projects on their properties. These local establishments represent excellence in retrofitting existing systems to manage stormwater runoff.

Today, PWD celebrated the honorees at Awbury Arboretum.

Located in Northeast Philadelphia, PFCU headquarters’ retrofit reconfigured the existing basin, expanding its original capacity and allowing the system to manage a greater volume of the site’s runoff.

In Germantown, Awbury Arboretum’s basin project restored the historic ponds and watercourse on the property’s southwest portion and provided much-needed management of stormwater runoff.

“We are excited to honor this year’s Pioneers: Awbury Arboretum and the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union,” says Beth Anne Lutes, manager of PWD Stormwater Billing and Incentives. “Both projects highlight unique ways property owners can utilize existing infrastructure on their properties to manage stormwater and improve water quality in our surrounding waterways.”

Awbury’s and PFCU’s completed projects provide enhanced stormwater management for their areas while also improving their respective watersheds.

Additionally, Awbury Arboretum’s new system, located within the City’s combined sewer-stormwater network, contributes to the goals of PWD’s 25-year Green City, Clean Waters plan, which seeks to reduce the incidence of combined sewer overflows during intense rain events.

Collectively, these two sites alone manage nearly 286,000 gallons of stormwater per typical storm event, reducing pollution impacting Poquessing Creek, Tacony-Frankford Creek, and some of the original portions of Wingohocking Creek.

Designed to reduce waterway pollution while beautifying our neighborhoods, green stormwater infrastructure and other stormwater management practices have been integrated into the landscape of non-residential properties across Philadelphia for almost two decades.

From schools to local businesses, community institutions managing stormwater by complying with regulations have contributed to the holistic success of stormwater management programs, helping to keep our waterways clean.

“Communities, and the people and institutions comprising them, are important to the wellbeing of our waterways,” says Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner Randy E. Hayman, Esq. “For this reason, we prioritize integrating stormwater management at local, neighborhood-based sites. These spaces, whether public or private like the two sites honored today, demonstrate exceptional work in helping us reach one of our most important environmental goals — protecting the creeks and rivers that sustain Philadelphia.”

About the PWD Stormwater Regulations

Through the Philadelphia Water Department’s Stormwater Regulations, development projects in the City of Philadelphia over certain square footage are required to install stormwater management practices on their property. The regulations have been in place since 2006 to remove pollutants from and reduce the volume of stormwater runoff to improve water quality, reduce flooding impacts from development, and protect our waterways by minimizing erosion from runoff. After a project is complete, the property owner qualifies for lower stormwater charges on their monthly bill through the Stormwater Credits Program.

About PWD Stormwater Grants

The Philadelphia Water Department offers incentives to property owners, project managers, and developers to increase stormwater management on their property for lower stormwater fees. Stormwater Grants can pay for the design and construction of stormwater retrofit projects on non-residential properties. After a project is complete, the property owner qualifies for lower stormwater charges on their monthly bill through the Stormwater Credits Program.

About Green City, Clean Waters 

The City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Water Department launched Green City, Clean Waters in 2011 to meet state and federal regulations.

Green City, Clean Waters is a 25-year initiative to improve the quality of our waterways by installing GSI in our neighborhoods, coupled with enhancement of traditional infrastructure like collection systems, pumping, and wastewater treatment plants.

Philadelphia has met its 5- and 10-year Green City, Clean Waters goals under the City’s Long Term Control Plan and is currently preparing for its year 15 regulatory milestone.

About Us: The Philadelphia Water Department supplies drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater services to customers within the City of Philadelphia. The Department also has one wholesale water contract and 10 wholesale wastewater contracts with entities outside the City. Learn more at water.phila.gov

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