For the Love of Water FLOW

This Sunday, September 21st, show your affection for water by joining the Fairmount Water Works for FLOW, a festival for the Love of Water. The daylong event will celebrate the art and science of water on the Schuylkill River from 1:00 PM to dusk. FLOW is free and open to all ages. There will be several performances and fun activities for everyone to enjoy and have a great time.

Events include: Drip Drums, Sonic States of the Schuylkill, a Splash Organ, the Fairmount Fishway, River Net, Flood Stories, and for the grand finale, a dramatic light show illuminating the Water Works exterior.To make the day even more spectacular, the Philadelphia History Truck will be attending to record your stories and memories about Philadelphia’s waterways.

Click here for more information and schedule

Congratulations to Osman Fofanah! A PowerCorpsPHL Success Story

The Philadelphia Water Department would like to give a big shout out to Osman Fofanah, a PowerCorpPHL alumnus who recently landed a job with AKRF (Allee King Rosen & Fleming), a prominent environmental, planning and engineering consulting firm.

Through PowerCorpPHL, Osman worked with PWD’s Office of Watersheds this past year with the Green Stormwater Infrastructure Maintenance team, assisting with tasks ranging from data entry to field work at project sites. Additionally, Osman was the Assistant Crew Leader for PowerCorpsPHL inaugural Green Stormwater Infrastructure Maintenance Crew from April 2014 through September 2014, making sure that PWD’s green infrastructure functioned properly and looked beautiful.

With AKRF, Osman will use the skills he learned at the Water Department for his new position as the Green Infrastructure Landscape Maintenance Technician. He will perform routine surface maintenance as well as planting and installing green stormwater infrastructure projects in Philadelphia and the surrounding region.

PowerCorpPHL, an AmeriCorps program that started in 2013, enrolls 100 individuals, ages 18 to 26 in a 9 month program with 6 months of full-time service as AmeriCorps members in city departments, and 3 months of intensive job placement support. The program is designed to address environmental stewardship initiatives as well as the City of Philadelphia’s youth workforce development and violence prevention priorities. Osman’s story is a testament to the success of the PowerCorpsPHL program and PWD is delighted to be involved as a partner with this program.

Osman, who was in the first PowerCorpPHL cohort, is a dedicated, self-motivated young man. Knowing what Osman brings to this position, it was not surprising to hear that he landed the job and there is no doubt he will find success in his new role. The Philadelphia Water Department wishes him all the best and sends him a hearty congratulations!

A Fishing Success on Schuylkill Banks


On Saturday, September 6th, the Philadelphia Water Department, the Schuylkill River Development Corporation, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and PA Fish & Boat convened at Schuylkill Banks for the 10th Annual Philly Fun Fishing Fest. With sunny, perfect weather it was a great opportunity for family and friends to unwind by the water and try their hand at fishing. 

Collectively, the crowds of anglers caught (and released) 46 fish! Eight different species were represented, including Channel Catfish, Striped Bass, Bluegill, American Eel, American Shad, White Perch, Pumpkinseed Sunfish, and Red-Breast Sunfish. Prizes from Dick’s Sporting Goods and Plano Tackle were awarded for the first fish caught, the largest fish caught, the most successful angler, and more.

In addition to fishing, there were plenty of activities for the entire family to enjoy, including face painting and a Crazy Hat contest. It was indeed a great day for fishing on Schuylkill Banks. 

Check out photos of this fantastic day on our Flickr page and join us next year in September when the festival returns!

A Greener Hackett Elementary Brings Excitement to the Neighborhood


Proposed view of Hackett schoolyard by the Community Design Collaborative

Horatio B. Hackett Elementary School is lucky to have a large schoolyard—nearly an acre of land in the middle of the city—but many people describe it as a “sea of pavement.” As it stands, the schoolyard is almost completely covered in asphalt but will soon transform into a lush green space with benefits for students, the neighboring communities and the environment. Many community members are excited that their kids will have green space to play in and teachers look forward to expanding their curriculum to include the outside environment.

This project demonstrates the power of partnerships and community involvement. The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD), School District of Philadelphia, Friends of Horatio B. Hackett Elementary School, and the New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC), and volunteers from the Community Design Collaborative (CDC) worked together on a master plan for the schoolyard that integrates green stormwater infrastructure.

The schoolyard will be outfitted with green stormwater infrastructure to manage stormwater runoff through PWD’s  Green City, Clean Waters plan. The site will be equipped with a rain garden and underground retention basins that will soak up rainwater, filter it and keep it out of the combined sewer system.

Using green stormwater infrastructure at the Hackett School is just one part of the schoolyard revitalization plan. It also includes play and fitness equipment, shade trees, murals, an outdoor classroom, and amenities such as customized swings, accessible ramps and walkways for wheelchairs and students with specialized needs.

Philadelphia Water Department will implement the green stormwater infrastructure elements. To jumpstart the project on the community side, the School leadership and the Friends of Hackett organize work days and are currently raising funds to realize the rest of the plan. You can donate to their cause on their website: http://friendsofhackett.weebly.com

To read more about this project and see pictures of the site, check out this Philadelphia Neighborhoods article Kensington: A Greener Schoolyard for Hackett Elementary.

Register Today For a Fun-Filled Saturday


Photo Credit: Partnership for the Delaware Estuary

Have you registered for the 2014 Philly Fun Fishing Fest yet? If not, the last day to register is today!

Spend the morning with your family and friends this Saturday, from 7 A.M to 11 A.M., at the 2014 Philly Fun Fishing Fest. Anglers of all ages are welcome to catch and release fish on the Schuylkill Banks (at Walnut Street) with a chance to win prizes in multiple categories during an awards ceremony at 11:30 A.M. A fishing license is not needed for the competition and fishing gear will be available to borrow on a first-come, first-served basis.

While a fishing license is not required, all anglers must fill out Registration and Release of Liability forms to participate. The registration must be completed ahead of time (by today!) and the release form must be brought on the day of the event in order to participate.

The scheduled rain date is Saturday, September 13th. For more information, please call: 215-685-6300.

After the Fishing Fest, head over to the Delaware River because it’s Pennsylvania Coast Day, which will take place from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. at Walnut Plaza on Penn’s Landing (Columbus Avenue at Walnut Street). Fun activities at this free festival include: boat rides, kayaking, face painting, crafting, an Enviroscape exhibition, and more!

Upcoming Rain Barrel Workshops


 PWD Rain Barrel at the PHS Pop-up Garden, 1438 South Street.

Great news!  We have eight new rain barrel workshops scheduled. Visit our webpage to learn more about the program and sign up for a workshop.

In addition to new workshops, we’re excited to announce that the Rain Barrel Program is now a part of the Philadelphia Water Department’s Rain Check Program and will be managed by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS)  in partnership with the Sustainable Business Network (SBN).  

PWD is still providing the rain barrels and installations FREE to Philadelphia residents.  So don’t hesitate, sign up now  for one of these exciting workshops. After attending a workshop, we will coordinate the installation of a new rain barrel at your home. Can’t make it to Center City for a workshop? Don’t worry, we’ll be scheduling neighborhood workshops soon.

Call for Artists! Sculpture on the Circuit

An estimated one million people use the Schuylkill River Trail throughout the year. The Fairmount Water Works is looking for artists to create prototype art installations for the Schuylkill Trail as part of the Circuit, a 250-mile long series of trails used by joggers, cyclists, commuters and more. The intent of the art installations is to grab the attention of people using the trail and connect them to the river. The art will serve as a creative, fun way to educate trail users about urban watersheds, water quality, history and more. Ideally the artwork will also feature new technologies and online platforms to promote sharing and connect to a large audience.

The selected artists will be a part of the project team led by The Fairmount Water Works, The William Penn Foundation, and Habithèque Inc., and includes Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, City Parks Association, Schuylkill River Development Corp, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Bartram’s Gardens, The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, and City of Philadelphia representatives.

Together, the project leaders and team will collaborate with the artists to conceptualize and refine their projects into a prototype that will be installed and tested on the circuit. Feedback from trail users and lessons learned during this planning process will then be used to gain support for carrying out the actual works along the Circuit. Applications for this exciting opportunity are due by September 8, 2014.

Click here for the full Request For Qualification document and more information.

PWD’s Fred Feoli rescues kitten from danger

Last month PWD’s Customer Service Unit answered 232 calls from Philadelphians requesting inlet cleaning. On Saturday, July 26th, a normally routine call became an emergency as residents reported a kitten trapped in an inlet near the intersection of Main St. and Roxborough. Fred Feoli of the Inlet Cleaning Crew answered the call.

Several attempts were made to bring the kitten out to safety, but with no luck – as the kitten could not be seen, but only heard. After some quick thinking, Fred removed the trap wall, releasing the kitten from the dirty pipe. Fred’s heroic efforts were witnessed by many in the community, including one neighbor who adopted the kitten.

Well done Fred!