PPD Project Would Protect and Serve … Philly’s Rivers

PWD will present plans for green improvements at a Phila. Police Department building, Saunders Park and local streets on Feb. 21. This drawing shows improvements that could come to Pearl Street.
PWD will present plans for green improvements at a Phila. Police Department building, Saunders Park and local streets on Feb. 21. This drawing shows improvements that could come to Pearl Street.

At the Philadelphia Water Department, we’re always looking for ways to team up with sister departments like Parks and Recreation, Streets, the Dept. of Public Property and non-profits to build new Green City, Clean Waters tools that manage stormwater on public property.

The idea is that we can save time and money for the City—and reduce the headaches that can come with construction sites—by building green infrastructure in places where other types of investments are already taking place or needed.

On February 21, we’re meeting with members of West Philly’s Saunders Park community to get input on a green project that takes this partnership concept into novel territory—a new collaboration with the Philadelphia Police Department and Department of Public Property:

Pssst: Tips for the 2017 Green City, Clean Waters Art Contest


Philly students: Do you care about protecting our drinking water and aquatic wildlife? Have artistic talent? Want to win prizes for yourself, your teachers and your school?

The 2017 Green City, Clean Waters Art Contest is now underway, and the deadline for submissions has just been extended! We want you to send your best creative work showing what people can do to protect our rivers and creeks by Friday, March 17, 2017.

Three winning drawings are selected from each of the four grade groups: K-2nd, 3rd-5th, 6th-8th, and 9th-12th.

For the last eight years, we’ve been working with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary (PDE) to organize this contest—open to all K-12 students that attend public, private, or home school in Philadelphia—and that’s given us a pretty good idea about what makes for a winning entry.

Here are a few tips to guide your creativity:

Get Your Gloves & Grabbers: Spring Watershed Cleanups Are Right Around the Corner!

Our first season of volunteer cleanups with local apparel company United By Blue was a huge success, and we’re excited to start another round this spring.

In 2016, nearly 1,000 volunteers joined PWD , United By Blue, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and other partners at 15 clean ups to remove nearly 33 tons of trash from waterfront green spaces like Bartram’s Garden and Penn Treaty Park.

10 Days Left to Apply for Schuylkill River Restoration Fund Grants

Kelly Anderson of PWD's Source Water Protection Program addresses a group at the 2016 event annoucing last year's grant winners.
Kelly Anderson of PWD's Source Water Protection Program addresses a group at the 2016 event annoucing last year's grant winners.

The 2017 Schuylkill River Restoration Fund Grant Round is now open! Letters of Intent must be submitted to the Schuylkill River Heritage Area by February 16.

Don’t Be a Member of the Lonely Yards Club: Start Planning a Rain Check Project This February

There is still plenty of winter left to sign up for Rain Check, says this ground hog!

For those Philly residents feeling the winter blues, Punxsutawney Phil didn’t exactly bring hope and relief when he popped out of his den on Ground Hog Day and decided we’re in for six more weeks of cold weather.

But, before you resign and decide to join ol’ Phil in another month-and-half of hibernation, let us offer you an optimistic antidote.

Rather than thinking of this Ground Hog Day forecast as a longer winter, think of it as more time to get started on that spring landscaping project you’ve been putting off!

In February alone, we have eight free Rain Check workshops scheduled in neighborhoods all over the city, providing you with lots of opportunities to start planning a discounted warm-weather upgrade for your home.

With Rain Check, you can sign up to get a free rain barrel installed this spring—and then spend the rest of winter coming up with a fun DIY design that will make it yours.

Watersheds Blog 2016 Highlight Reel, Part 3: Awards and Grants

In the third and final part of our 2016 highlights series, we look at awards received by the Philadelphia Water Department and its employees as well some grants distributed last year.

Thanks for following along—Part One and Part Two  cover lots of cool highlights for those who missed those posts.

Dilworth Award

Longtime PWD employee and General Manager of the Public Affairs Division Joanne Dahme was honored with a Dilworth Award for Customer Service, one of Philadelphia’s most esteemed civil service distinctions. The Dilworth committee selected Joanne for her tireless efforts to serve the department’s 1.5 million customers, from big citywide efforts to volunteering in her own neighborhood.

We at PWD couldn’t be more proud of her! Read more here!

Year in Review, Part Two: 2016 a Big Year for Philly Water Stewards

This is the second installment in our blog series looking at all the great news and events 2016 brought for Philly's water community.

Part I started with the appointment of Debra McCarty as Commissioner and explored highlights like our new water stations, the amazing work of volunteers, the Green City, Clean Waters Year 5 celebrations, our collaboration with Saint Benjamin Brewing Co. and more. Check it out!

2016 Water Highlights Part II...


New Storm Drain Markers Introduced
In 2016, Philly residents got to meet their watershed spirit animal as we rolled out new storm drain markers featuring a special aquatic critter for each of the city’s seven watersheds.

Volunteers have played an important role by signing up for our free marking kits and taking the time to install the new watershed markers at inlets all over the city.

Year in Review (Part One): 2016 a Big Year for Philly’s Water Stewards

Commissioner Debra A. McCarty helps a West Philly Student put on a new button at 2016 rain garden ribbon cutting event. She became the first woman to lead the department. Credit: Brian Rademaekers
Commissioner Debra A. McCarty helps a West Philly Student put on a new button at 2016 rain garden ribbon cutting event. She became the first woman to lead the department. Credit: Brian Rademaekers

Newly-elected Mayor Jim Kenney rang in 2016 in a big way by naming Debra A. McCarty Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner, making her the first woman to lead the organization in its nearly 200-year history.

That big announcement, it seems, set the tone for PWD in 2016.

It was a busy year, with lots of exciting news—big and small—for Philly’s water community, and we recently took some time to look back at all the great things happening here.

We made major investments in our infrastructure. We marked important milestones with partners and residents. We revived superheroes, and we collaborated with science-savvy brewers…

It was such a big year at PWD, we’re presenting our 2016 highlights in not one blog post, but three!

(See Part II)

Without further ado, here is the first installment of our three-part series exploring highlights from the last year, presented in no particular order: