North Philly Celebrates Green Infrastructure

Mayor Nutter swung by last week's Soak It Up! event in North Philly to commemorate the installation of stormwater tree trenches near 7th and Cumberland streets. The tree trenches are just one tool used to manage rain water and prevent sewer overflows into our rivers and streams. Check out our updated Green City, Clean Waters page for the complete story of how Philadelphia is using natural, green processes to solve the problem of combined sewer overflows.

Students from the nearby John F. Hartranft elementary school helped decorate the tree trenches with flower plantings.

There weren't just snacks. There were snacks and smoothies. 

East Falls—you're next. Join us on Thursday, April 5 at 4:30 at Queen Lane and Fox Street to dedicate the city's first stormwater bumpouts.

North Philly: Your Turn To Soak It Up

Don't forget to come out today at 4:30 at 7th and Cumberland streets in eastern North Philadelphia to celebrate the Philadelphia Water Department's green infrastructure project. The stormwater tree trench on Cumberland St. absorbs runoff during storms and helps prevent sewer overflows into our rivers and streams. PWD's Soak It Up crew will be there with free refreshments, art activities, flower plantings and plenty of information about our green infrastructure projects.

You're Invited: Iodine-131 Panel Discussion

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Iodine-131 is a radioactive form of iodine widely used in the medical field for the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disease. Trace amounts are present in waterways around the world as well as in our rivers; however, the drinking water levels pose no risk to public health, and here in Philadelphia the average levels are well below EPA limits.

Although our drinking water is safe and is monitored 24/7, it's PWD's responsibility to look for things that can challenge our water quality. Join us tomorrow, March 28, at 5:30 p.m. at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center for a panel discussion of iodine-131. Our partners in the EPA the PA Department of Environmental Protection and the City's Department of Health will be on hand to share information about joint efforts to track down sources of iodine-131 in our region's watersheds.

East Germantown Soaked It Up

Last week, Soak It Up, Philly! hit East Germantown to celebrate the six stormwater tree trenches on Belfield Avenue. The Philadelphia Water Department's third Soak It Up event drew a crowd—the community came out to see how PWD's green infrastructure absorbs rain water and works toward preventing sewer overflows in our rivers and streams. Neighbors enjoyed refreshments, art activities, flower plantings and more yarn art around the trees.

The next Soak It Up event is this Thursday, March 29 at 7th and Cumberland streets in North Philadelphia.

Chew and Belfield Neighbors Club President Rev. Chester Williams and PWD Comissioner Howard Neukrug dedicate the stormwater tree trenches.

Plantings around the street trees help beautify the neighborhood.

It's Not Thursday. It's World Water Day.

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Today is World Water Day! Now what are we going to do? Here are a few ideas: Start here, and read about this year's theme: The world is thirsty because we are hungry. Water drives the food chain and is the key to our food security—read these FAQs. Play this drag-and-drop food game to see how much water it takes to produce the food on your plate. Watch these animated videos on water reuse and the water cycle. Spread the word by liking World Water Day's Facebook page.

See South Philly Soak It Up

On March 8, our second Soak It Up! event took place at 16th and Jackson streets in South Philly. Neighbors joined city officials and PWD employees to celebrate the stormwater tree trenches that absorb runoff and make 16th Street a green street. Above, children from the neighborhood plant flowers around the trees.

PWD commissioner Howard Neukrug, Newbold Civic Association's Naomi Geschwind and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson after the ribbon-cutting.

These kids are both expert gardeners and professional chalk artists.

Another PWD-sponsored yarn bombing by ishknits

Most Sustainable In Show: PWD Flower Show Display Wins Sustainability Award

The 2012 International Flower Show, which wrapped up last week, aimed to take visitors on a trip to Hawaii. The Philadelphia Water Department's display, however, kept it right here in Philly, demonstrating how green roofs, rain gardens and other green infrastructure can beautify our city while managing stormwater runoff that pollutes our rivers and streams. Scale models of some of Philly's most famous buildings show how green the city could be, earning the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Sustainability Award for the exhibit demonstrating the best use of sustainable gardening practices to the public.

Visit PWD's Facebook page to see more photos.


Premier Philly Pup Poll Presently Popular Among Participants

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The online polls for the Philly Water's Best Friend Competition opened a week ago today, and voter turnout so far has been incredible—more than 1,000 votes have already been cast online for the "canine-didates" in Queen Village and Northern Liberties. A Jack Russell from Northern Liberties, Penny, even has a Facebook page for her campaign! We suspect some of the other dogs have Super PACs (or just a very loyal base).

Vote for your favorite dog in Queen Village and Northern Liberties until May 30, and remember to pick up pet waste to keep our rivers and streams clean.

Tomorrow: Soak It Up, South Philly!

Join us tomorrow, Thursday March 8 at 4:30 p.m. at 16th and Jackson streets in South Philly for our second Soak It Up, Philly! event. The Philadelphia Water Department is celebrating its green stormwater infrastructure projects that absorb rain water and allow it to infiltrate into the ground instead of burdening our sewer system and polluting our rivers and streams. There will be free refreshments, art activities for all ages, flower bulb plantings and more. This event is rain or shine. Will it be almost 70 degrees tomorrow? Probably! Will there be a giant pair of scissors? We think so!

Thank You For Soaking (It Up)

Yesterday's inaugural Soak It Up, Philly! event took place in New Kensington, where the Philadelphia Water Department showed off the Green Streets that are helping to improve the health of Philly's rivers and streams. Residents of all ages joined city officials and PWD staff to tour the green infrastructure at and around the Shissler Recreation Center that infiltrates stormwater runoff. There were snacks! There was a pair of giant scissors! Photo highlights below—the next Soak It Up, Philly! event is on March 8 at 16th and Jackson streets in South Philly.

From left: Parks and Recreation commissioner Michael DiBerardinis, PWD commissioner Howard Neukrug, New Kensington CDC's Sandy Salzman and MOTU's Andrew Stober kick off the celebration.

PWD-sponsored yarnbombing of a stormwater tree trench tree

The artists from ishknits responsible for said yarnbombing

Kids planted daffodils around the trees and were shown a model that demonstrates how a stormwater planter absorbs runoff.

Green projects were decorated with chalk drawings of Indian, Japanese and Egyptian water symbols.

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