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Stormwater Going Green in Frankford

On May 17th residents met at McIlvain Playground to hear Haley Stern, Philadelphia Water Outreach Specialist explain the stormwater improvement project planned for Frankford.

These projects are part of Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters program. Green City, Clean Waters is Philadelphia’s plan to reduce stormwater pollution currently entering our Combined Sewer System through the use of green infrastructure.

Green City, Clean Waters represents a major shift in the way we think about and deal with stormwater in Philadelphia. We’re recreating the living landscapes that once slowed, filtered, and consumed rainfall by adding green to our streets, sidewalks, roofs, schools, parks, parking lots and more—any impermeable surface that’s currently funneling stormwater into our sewers and waterways is fair game for greening. It’s going to take decades of work, but when it’s all done, we’ll have reduced the stormwater pollution entering our waterways by a stunning 85 percent.

That means rivers and streams that are swimmable, fishable, drinkable on a level exceeding even the memory of Philadelphia’s oldest residents.

By employing green tools instead of just relying on traditional infrastructure like pipes and storage basins, we meet standards set by the Clean Water Act while saving Philadelphia an estimated $5.6 billion.  Since Green City, Clean Waters was adopted in June 2011, Philadelphia Water and private developers have added over 1,100 green stormwater tools to our landscape.

The plan (follow this link for a color map) for Frankford will focus the following streets:

  • Sanger St. between Valley St. and Walker St.
  • Van Kirk St. and Walker St. intersection
  • Cottage Street between Bridge St. and Cheltenham Ave.
  • Bridge St. between Walker St. and Cottage St.
  • Cottage St. and Harrison St. intersection
  • Darrah St. and Allengrove St. intersection
  • Duffield St. between Pratt St. and Conklin St.
  • Streets surrounding McIlvain Playground (Saul St., Bridge St., Penn St., Pratt St.)

The purpose of the meeting was to provide a summary of improvements planned for those streets and residents were invited to provide feedback on proposed designs.

A swale, similar to the one put into Womrath Park and recently Harding Middle school, is planned for the cemetery.

Swale at Harding Middle School under construction

Swale at Harding Middle School under construction

Residents from the area of the cemetery expressed concerns about trash and dumping and said they would prefer that the proposed swale there be fenced in.  They were told that it would be put into the plan.

Construction is anticipated to begin in one to two years.  For more information about these Green City, Clean Waters improvements, contact Philadelphia Water Outreach Specialist Hailey Stern at