stormwater management

GSI Partners Offer Green Jobs Training Opportunity

A rain garden at the Philadelphia Zoo represents one of the hundreds of privately operated green stormwater management sites in the city. Credit: Philadelphia Water.

Creating a green economy—jobs and services rooted in environmental sustainability—isn’t just a nice side effect resulting from Green City, Clean Waters. Green jobs and their economic benefits were a driving force in Philadelphia Water’s decision to develop a green infrastructure solution to our stormwater management challenges.

Helping to meet the demand for green jobs created by our 25-year green infrastructure plan is the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia’s (SBN) Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Partners group, an independent non-profit “network of industry professionals working to advance the local green stormwater infrastructure industry and innovation in the Greater Philadelphia region.”

GSI Partners is currently accepting applications for a three-day course designed to provide training for professionals interested in learning about how to take care of the ever-growing stock of green stormwater infrastructure in Philadelphia.

With over 1,100 green tools already in place to support Green City, Clean Waters, there’s a real demand for landscape contractors with the skills needed to perform crucial operations and maintenance tasks. That demand will grow considerably as our multi-billion dollar plan expands over the next two decades.

This course will provide valuable training to help meet that demand. Here’s a description of the curriculum from GSI Partners:

This three-day course is for landscape professionals seeking to strengthen or develop their service portfolio in operations and maintenance of public and private green stormwater infrastructure projects. The course features two classroom days and one field day, and will provide landscape contractors with an understanding of the importance of operations and maintenance (O+M) of vegetated stormwater management practices, as well as of the tasks involved. The course will cover 16 sections in total, including: Regulatory context for O+M; Identification and understanding of the components of SMP’s; Diagnosis of and response to performance and safety issues; Adaptive and prescriptive management activities.

Space is limited, and the course will take place on three separate days (August 21, 28 and September 4) at the Navy Yard. The cost is $350 per person.

GSI Partners’ Continuing Education Grants will be available to eligible GSI Partners and SBN members interested in taking the course.
To sign up for the course and apply for a grant, please visit the GSI Partners site by clicking here.

PWD awards $8.25 million in stormwater management grants, seeks more applicants

Cardone - Stormwater Management Incentives Program
Cardone Industries, a SMIP grant winner, constructed a stormwater management system at its 60-acre Northeast Philadelphia headquarters that can capture the first 1.38 inches of rainfall per storm and store approximately 5 million gallons of stormwater on site. Photo from ISS Management. 

Meet SMIP (the Stormwater Management Incentives Program) and GARP (Greened Acre Retrofit Program), PWD’s two innovative programs that reward local businesses, institutions and other non-residential water customers financially for retrofitting their properties to divert stormwater out of our combined storm and waste water system. Together, these two programs awarded $8.25 million to four projects (3 SMIPs and 1 GARP) from July to September of 2014. These projects, representing a total of 11 properties, created 92 greened acres! A greened acre manages at least the first inch of rainfall over that acre. This puts us 92 acres closer to our goal of turning 9,500 impervious (water runs off instead of soaks in) acres into “green acres” over the course of our 25 year Green City, Clean Waters program. Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor would be so proud!

SMIP was started in January 2012 and provides grants to non-residential property owners who want to retrofit their properties to manage stormwater. Instead of simply paying higher stormwater management fees, SMIP tips the financial calculations for property owners and creates incentives to build and maintain systems that capture stormwater that would otherwise end up in our sewer system and waterways. SMIP grant recipients not only get financial assistance for the design and implementation of their systems, they will also enjoy the lower stormwater fees since their properties will be generating less runoff. 

W & W Realty Company was awarded a SMIP grant to implement green stormwater management upgrades to its commercial tenant, Dependable Distribution Services Incorporated. With the installation of three large stormwater management systems, their 35-acre site will manage more than 800,000 gallons of stormwater directly on site.

GARP came online in July 2014 and provides stormwater grants to contractors or project aggregators who can build large-scale stormwater retrofit projects across multiple properties. Our first GARP grant went to ISS Management, a stormwater solutions provider, working with eight different commercial property owners. 

To see the three projects that were awarded SMIP grants and the list of properties covered by our first GARP grant, check out this press release announcing the awards. Together, the projects will save these commercial property owners almost $400,000 per year in reduced stormwater fees!

SMIP and GARP are run in partnership with the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). Applications for both SMIP and GARP can be submitted at any time and announcements will be made towards the end of each fiscal quarter. So get in now to be considered for the January to March 2015 quarter! Applications not selected in a particular round will have the opportunity to be rolled over to the next without having to resubmit.

More information about both SMIP and GARP can be found on our website. Check out PIDC’s Development and Contract Opportunities page for the grant applications.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Celebrating Cardone Industries Stormwater Management Innovations

On Friday, July 18th, the Philadelphia Water Department took a trip to Cardone Industries for a ribbon-cutting celebrating the $3.4 million grant awarded to Cardone in 2013, as part of the Stormwater Management Incentives Program (SMIP). Cardone is a third generation family-owned business and it is one of the best manufacturers in Philadelphia, known to be environmental friendly because of remanufacturing.

Through the grant, there are five new stormwater management features to ensure that runoff from all areas of the property is managed, including a 530 foot swale and basins, both above and underground.  These features allow the 50-acre property to store five million gallons of rain water and help Cardone save an average of $250,000 per year in stormwater fees.

Numerous people joined PWD for the ribbon cutting. Special guests included Councilwoman Marian Tasco of the 9th district, Councilman Bobby Henon of the 6th district, Cardone Chief Executive Officer Kevin Cramton, Steve Jurash from the Manufacturer’s Alliance and Mike Cooper of the Commerce Department.

Gardens Save Dollars and Make Sense


This Saturday, September 7th, you can explore the green garden oases of South Philadelphia with the South Philadelphia Food Co-op. The Co-op is hosting their 3rd annual South Philly Self-Guided Garden Tour from 1 to 5pm. This past month they’ve been counting down the days with all of the different ways gardens save the city dollars and benefit our well-being. Their latest post featured an aspect that is near and dear to our hearts here at the Water Department…stormwater management! Gardens help absorb rainwater that would typically flow into our sewer inlets and streams. By absorbing the water, gardens help filter and mitigate stormwater pollution and combined sewer overflows. Read more about how South Philly gardens are helping to manage stormwater here and view the rest of the South Philly Garden Tour Countdown here. If you’re interested in attending the tour, be sure to grab your tickets now, this is the South Philly Co-op’s biggest fundraiser of the year!

And if you don’t have enough to do already, between your garden tour and the Fish Fest, make sure you check out Coast Day down at Penn’s Landing!

Congratulations to the 2013 SMIP Grant Recipients!

The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) are pleased to announce that just under $5 million has been award in grants to promote stormwater management projects. The Stormwater Management Incentives Program (SMIP) was created by The City of Philadelphia, through PWD and PIDC, to help reduce the volume of stormwater runoff entering the City's sewer system and to simultaneously help beautify communities. The grant helps businesses and nonprofits green large, impervious properties and unburden the city’s sewer system from high volumes of stormwater runoff. Stormwater management tools, such as green roofs, porous paving, rain gardens, stormwater tree trenches,  detention and retention basins reduce a property’s impervious surface, also resulting in lower monthly stormwater charges. Read about all of this year’s recipients and their projects here.

The SMIP grant is an important part of the Green City, Clean Waters plan, which includes an ambitious goal to convert 9,500 impervious acres to “green acres” that capture and manage the first inch of stormwater runoff to achieve beautiful, fishable, clean and healthy rivers and streams. The grant will also allow businesses, non-profit organizations and other non-residential customers to reduce their stormwater rates by providing funding for the design and implementation of these green infrastructure projects.
If you are interested in applying for the SMIP grant, please visit the webpage for more information.

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