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    Historic Germantown Hailed a Stormwater Pioneer

    Historic Germantown took home the Philadelphia Water Department’s (PWD) Stormwater Pioneer Award at a ceremony on May 21, for its new stormwater-savvy green space.

    The award, which was founded in 2014, celebrates property owners who pull off innovative and technologically challenging stormwater management projects.

    That was certainly the case with Historic Germantown, which converted an asphalt courtyard into a green space equipped with stormwater tools. The grassy site, located at Germantown Historical Society’s offices and museum, sits atop a 13-foot deep stone-filled basin where rainwater is stored and filtered slowly into the ground. An adjacent rain garden and some native tree species also work to capture runoff — while adding a touch of natural beauty to the space. Nearly 15,000 gallons of water can now be stored at the site during a typical 1-inch rainstorm.

    In an attempt to drum up the enthusiasm for stormwater management and urban green space, the project was largely community-led, with neighborhood fundraising and volunteer work days. It was also made possible by a grant from PWD’s Stormwater Management Incentives Program (SMIP), which has contributed $90 million in funding to over 160 projects since 2012.

    PWD has been undertaking its Green City, Clean Waters initiative since 2011, which aims to cut down on the stormwater pollution entering the city’s sewer system by 85 percent by 2036.

    “We are very pleased to honor Historic Germantown’s team of staff members, board members, and volunteers for their commitment to improving water quality and their neighborhood,” said PWD Commissioner Debra McCarty at the Pioneer ceremony. “This project demonstrates that even smaller water management projects can have a tremendous impact on an entire community.”

    Photo credit: Philadelphia Water Department 

     

    Brianna Baker

    About Brianna Baker

    Brianna is a senior journalism major Temple University. While studying abroad in Fall 2017, she interned at WHERE Rome magazine, and has also worked for Baltimore STYLE, QWERTY Philly, and student publications like Templar, The Temple News and 14th Street. In addition to writing, she loves re-watching her favorite sitcoms, going to concerts, and doing yoga (when she’s not feeling too lazy).

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