The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental protection along with the Philadelphia Water Department entered into a mutual agreement to address the issue of sewer overflows in the city of Philadelphia in 2011. The Consent order and agreement requires Philadelphia Water Department to implement and long term control plan known as Green City, Clean Waters which is a unique and never implemented approach designed to prevent sewer overflow based on green storm water infrastructure.
It is studied that combined sewer overflow occurs when both stormwater and sewer water flowing in the same pipe becomes uncontrollable and overflows into the waterway nearby. The situation may go uncontrollable when there are incessant rains and during snowmelts. In such conditions, the volume of the water in the pipe exceeds the system set capacity to get transported to the sewage treatment plan. Bacteria, human waste, debris and trash are present in the sewer overflows.
Green City, Clean Waters is the most feasible and economically affordable solution to reduce sewage overflows to rivers and streams in Philadelphia while adhering to Clean Water Act regulations. Green City, Clean Water has been ascertained as the most inexpensive alternatives when compared to others. This option provides a comprehensive solution to the city residents, the benefits of which include economic, social and environmental.
The main objective of Green City, clean waters is to improve the stormwater infrastructure in the city of Philadelphia and to make it an essential portion of the EPA targeted goal of reducing the polluted stormwater overflows which discharge into streams and rivers in and around Philadelphia. By 85% by the end of 2035. The use of green stormwater infrastructure results in clean water improvements along with other benefits such as reduced heat effects, increase in green spaces and employment.
The Philadelphia Water Department has successfully installed the targeted stormwater infrastructure after eight years to efficiently manage runoff of 800 impervious across the city’s combined sewer areas. However, the initial success of Green City, Clean Waters can be taken for granted.
The Philadelphia plan to reduce the overflow of combined sewer systems has been planned and implemented as Green City, Clean Waters. The program is executed efficiently to date. After eight years of execution, the water department has been successful in installing green stormwater infrastructure across the city to avoid sewage overflows.
Green City, Clean Waters is a significant deviation in the way we deal with stormwater in the city of Philadelphia. Installing green infrastructure to use the rainwater effectively to make the city green is the main objective of the plan. The funnelling of stormwater to recreate green spaces in the home, offices, commercial buildings, parks and other recreational places is all part of the Green City, Clean Water plan. It cannot be achieved in a few years and can take decades but fairly implemented Green City; Clean Waters plan can lower the stormwater pollution by 85% to deliver amazing results.
The sustainable business network of Greater Philadelphia has assigned a commission to articulate the economic impact of Green City and Clean waters. The act was the initiative of the Philadelphia water department that seeks to invest in projects of green stormwater initiatives throughout the city. The green city and clean waters act fulfil the established minimum quality requirements of water in an environmentally sustainable way. It is strategized in a way to have a positive impact on the local economy at the same time proves to be beneficial to the neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia.
The benefits of Green city and Clean waters include economic benefits, environmental benefits and equity benefits.
Green infrastructures are known for less consumption of energy than the non-green/gray infrastructure, which results in improvement of quality of water, air and also helps in reducing carbon footprint. It enhances resilience and adaptability by providing a combined cooling effect.
Green infrastructure encourages the neighborhoods by creating more employment opportunities when compared to gray- infrastructure.There is several economic benefits of Green City, Clean Waters plan.
The green infrastructure of the city provides an affordable approach for both the city and ratepayers, helps in circulation of more money with the local community, businesses and improves the value of the properties.
Green infrastructure projects can help business, non-residential organisations and institutions in reducing the stormwater rates by installing green infrastructure.
Green City, Clean Waters plans can help boost your business and build goodwill for your projects when you demonstrate your green ethics’ to your customer. The green stormwater practices will keep waterways of your building clean.
The best way of improving the appearance of your property is by making your business eligible for green infrastructure projects.
Storm Water Regulation Act
All new businesses that are into development and redevelopment of infrastructure are mandatory to meet Philadelphia’s stormwater management regulation before implementing plans.