Tally the Votes

They’re fluffy. They’re playful. They’re man’s Philly Water’s best friend.  It’s that time of year again – PWD is hosting the 2014 Spokesdog Competition, so bark your calendars!

To make sure that Philadelphia’s waterways are clean, two dogs will be chosen to teach others the importance of reducing dog waste pollution. A pageant will take place in Juniata and another in Lower Moyamensing, with each having qualified judges and spokesdogs selected by online voters. Both winners will have images printed of each dog and will be used in brochures, online, etc.  In return, each pet owner and winner must attend three community events and educate other pet owners about the significance of picking up after our dogs.

Voting is in progress. Make sure to vote for your top favorite in each neighborhood before it is too late!

Marking Our Territory

Look out for new street art under your feet! As part of the Green City, Clean Waters art contest, students from K-12 illustrated ways we can keep pollution out of our storm drains. In addition to being featured in the Green City, Clean Waters calendar, the art work of each grade's first place winner will be enlarged and placed on city streets as a friendly reminder to stop pollution. As a test, the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, on behalf of Philadelphia Water Department, put down large storm drain art in Schuylkill River Park and Vernon Park. These visually inspiring art works by Frank McShane are just a preview of the student artwork which will grace streets and buses in the early fall.

Be on the lookout if you haven’t seen them yet!

William Dick School Opens Community Playground

Just in time for summer break, the City of Philadelphia with the Trust for Public Land unveiled a new playground at William Dick Elementary on Tuesday. Residents of North Philadelphia now have the opportunity to spend their days outside at the new schoolyard located on Diamond Street near 24th.

Students opened the ribbon cutting celebration with a local rendition of Pharrell William’s “Happy” and ended it with an impressive gymnastics routine. In between, Mayor Nutter kicked off a round of acknowledgements and congratulations to all the groups responsible for remaking the asphalt parking lot into a much needed green space.

William Dick Elementary is the first Green 2015 project to finish construction. Green 2015 is a plan developed by PennPraxis and put into action by Mayor Nutter with Parks and Recreation, the Water Department, the School District and the Trust for Public Land with funding support from the William Penn Foundation. The goal of the plan is to create 500 new acres of public green space by 2015.

Students from the elementary school played an important role in redesigning the William Dick playground, choosing the play equipment, plants for the rain garden, locations for new trees and important amenities like benches. PWD constructed a rain garden to manage the stormwater runoff from the play area. During the school year, the green space will be utilized for teaching children about the importance of green infrastructure and how the rain garden helps maintain water quality. In addition to a rain garden, the playground includes benches for relaxation, spinning cups, and additional space for playing sports. The new and improved playground will be open to the public every day -- helping achieve Mayor Nutter’s vision of exposing at least 75 percent of the city’s population to green space within a 10-minute walk.

The Wharton Street Lofts Incorporates a Green Roof

There is more than meets the eye in South Philadelphia. Wharton Street Lofts, formerly known as the Annunciation School, is offering the tenants of its 45 apartments an extra amenity - a green roof deck. Open to all residents, these green roof tops were made possible via a partnership created through PWD’s Green City, Clean Waters. Developer, Leo Addimando. was awarded a grant through PWD’s Stormwater Management Incentive Program (SMIP). Administered jointly with the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), this innovative program provides grants to non-residential PWD customers to support investments in green stormwater infrastructure. In addition to the building’s green roof, the developer has incorporated a rain garden in the parking lot, as well as two subsurface infiltration beds, and street trees.

To learn more about the SMIP program and how your business can more effectively manage stormwater, please, Click Here.  

Drexel University Awarded Contract to Evaluate Heat Recovery from Wastewater

Over 80% of the energy used to heat the water in our homes & businesses goes down the drain! Starting this month, Drexel University will begin researching how we can recover some of that heat from our wastewater. Funded by the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the research will be led by principal investigator, Dr. Charles Haas of Drexel University and Paul Kohl, Energy Program Manager at PWD and a Drexel PhD candidate.  Underground, the temperature of our wastewater remains stable year round as it is insulated from the air temperature above it. This means we can use energy from our sewage to warm buildings in the winter and cool them in the summer. Drexel’s “Sewage Geothermal” research will build on existing work at the Water Department to recover  energy from our waste water. In fact, PWD installed sewage geothermal technology at our Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant in February 2012. The installation uses thermal energy to heat the plant’s compressor building and pipe gallery space, saving PWD $18,000 annually.

Green City, Clean Waters Information Sessions

Want to learn more about the green projects coming to Philadelphia?

Come out to our Green City, Clean Waters Information Session next Wednesday, June 11th. This is a great opportunity to learn all about Green City, Clean Waters, including information on how you can provide input on potential green storm water infrastructure projects in your neighborhood by filling out our Community Input Form. Please go to: http://www.phillywatersheds.org/infosession, to learn more about this amazing opportunity! It is important to RSVP (via form) by June 10th, so that we may be better prepared to talk about your individual neighborhood projects.

Where: Municipal Services Building / City Hall; 16th Floor, Room Y
Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm

*Proper photo I.D. is required to enter the MSB.
For any questions, please contact Jeanne Waldowski at 215-685-4945

Two Rivers One Water

It’s summer time! What could be better than spending your summer outside in warm weather, then cooling off with a refreshing glass of cold water? Philadelphia’s water has not always been as clean as it is today. In fact, Philadelphia currently enjoys watersheds that are cleaner than they have been in over a century. To ensure our water remains healthy, PWD works behind the scenes to produce about 250 million gallons of high quality drinking water every day.

PWD is excited to start our Two Rivers One Water campaign to keep people in the know about their connection to our water. Take a look at this poster to see how you can lend a hand this summer to make sure our water stays pure. A few ways to help include bagging your dog’s waste, limiting chemical usage, and keeping your storm drains clear.

Fish Food for Thought

PWD's Lance Butler and Joe Perillo were working last week and found this very large striped bass. Pretty amazing to see aquatic life like this from a river that was once too polluted to support it. Lance had this to say:

"Being a PWD scientist for over 15 years, very little surprises me when I'm out in the field performing assessments, surveys, etc. I've had the rare opportunity to witness first-hand the trending resurgence of many aquatic species in the Schuylkill and Delaware drainages within and around Philly.

In short, fifteen years ago, if anyone said to me that there are 40"+ striped bass, thousands of river herring (blueback and Alewife) and Shad, and over 50+ species of fish in the lower Schuylkill, I would have probably said that they were lying. Today, that "myth" is reality and this picture is one that exemplifies this.

And although we face many issues, both legacy and future, with regards to our urban ecosystems (ranging from acute and chronic pollution events, invasive species introductions, climate change and sea level rise, etc.), I firmly believe that we (i.e., PWD and its partners) are on the correct path to improving the health and integrity of our aquatic resources."