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Philadelphia Water Department - Participation in green stormwater infrastructure incentive program

Philadelphia, PA, USA
WaterNow Alliance
Contact Partner
In Collaboration With

Goverment Champion

Philadelphia Water Department


800 Thousand USD

Project Status

Operational since 2011


Urban Revitalization
Climate Change
Combined sewer overflows

Challenges Addressed

Stormwater Management
Water Supply & Drought


Resilient city
Sustainable city

Funding / Financing

General Fund/Existing Public Funds

Project Type


At a Glance

Institutional ratepayer participation in PWD’s Greened Acre Retrofit Program to install green infrastructure on their private property and bring multiple benefits to vulnerable communities.

Problem Addressed

Like so many local governments, Philadelphia Water Department faces the interrelated and intertwined problems of combined sewer overflows, aging water infrastructure and climate change.

Philedelphia Water Department used/is using iInstitutional ratepayer participation to install green infrastructure on their property and bring multiple benefits to vulnerable communities. to address this/these challenge(s).

Solution(s) Used

Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters program, which began in 2011, embodies the city’s commitment to build widespread green storm water infrastructure (GSI) over the next 25 years to help reduce the frequency and water quality impacts of overflows from the city’s combined sewer system (CSOs). With this significant investment, through a combination of regulatory mandates and incentive programs, Philadelphia is working to convert more than one-third of the impervious surfaces in the areas of the city that are served by a combined sewer—about 65% of the city—to “Greened Acres.” Greened Acres must manage the first inch of storm water runoff, which are expected to capture, or otherwise address, 1 million gallons of rain per acre per year.

PWD’s Greened Acre Retrofit Program (GARP) is part of this initiative. Through GARP the City reimburses landowners for the cost of green infrastructure development on properties within the combined sewer zone. Projects can include stormwater management practices such as bioswales, rain gardens, tree trenches, and more.

In 2018, Greenprint Partners, a mission-driven green infrastructure developer, identified and aggregated of a group of project applications on behalf of institutional organizations located in lower-income areas of Philadelphia. Two Philadelphia nonprofit sites, the Leon H. Sullivan Human Services Center and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Germantown were approved for a total of $800,000 in green stormwater infrastructure site improvements from PWD. These projects will drive more equitable distribution of grant funds and will result in nearly four new greened acres contributing to Philadelphia’s stormwater management goals.


  1. Environmental benefits: Stormwater management through greened acres is at the core of each of these two projects. The projects will generate approximately 4.4 greened acres.
  2. Economic & equity benefits: The project developer’s unique process encourages landowners to consider the following “Shared Prosperity” co-benefits as they decide on their priorities.
  3. Social benefits: The process encourages landowners to consider co-benefits as they decide on their priorities during the design process.

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