Sen. Vincent J. Fumo

District Office

1208 Tasker Street
Phila, PA 19148

Harrisburg Office

545 Main Capitol
Hbg, PA 17120



_____________________NEWS RELEASE

State Senator

1st Senatorial District
Room 545 Main Capitol, Harrisburg PA 17120
Internet Website:


PHONE: 717-787-5662 


     PHILADELPHIA, June 12, 2008 – The Philadelphia Water Department is launching demonstration projects throughout the city to help develop green infrastructure. The program is funded in part by a $300,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, obtained by state Senator Vince Fumo (D-Philadelphia).

     Fumo helped kick off the Green Streets Demonstration Projects today, appearing at two sites in South Philadelphia and Northern Liberties where the department has installed green infrastructure components. The department is exploring the feasibility of using them as the primary storm-water runoff control measure. The events included an inspection of the sites and an illustration of how they work. There was also an Information Fair on the Green Cities, Clean Water program, the strategy for significantly reducing the combined sewer overflows into rivers and streams.

     “The Philadelphia Water Department’s Green Cities, Clean Water Program is an important step toward establishing a green infrastructure in our City. It will blend land, waterway, infrastructure and sustainability practices to support policies and programs that are targeted to protect our drinking water supply. They will also help preserve and protect our waterways, and our fish and wildlife habitat,” Fumo said.

     “When we heard about the opportunity to help the Green Streets Demonstration Projects in South Philadelphia and Northern Liberties, we were thrilled to participate. This is an excellent way to help create model green infrastructure projects that may be replicated throughout the city,” he added.

     The South Philadelphia site is at the Columbus Square Playground, 12th and Wharton Streets. The Northern Liberties demonstration project is Liberty Lands, at 3rd and Wildey Streets.

     By designing and constructing demonstration projects around the city, the department hopes to develop a better understanding of green infrastructure, including factors such as the cost of construction, maintenance costs and requirements, effectiveness of storm-water management, and coordination with other City agencies and utilities. The goal of the demonstration project is to create standards designs for green infrastructure that can be implemented on a broad scale throughout Philadelphia. Gray infrastructure – increased conveyance and storage capacity followed by treatment – would be used only as required.

     The demonstration components at Columbus Square and Liberty Lands include porous pavers, sidewalk infiltration planters, vegetated swales and rain gardens.

     “This combination of green and gray infrastructure will help prevent combined sewer overflows and will reduce the occurrences of basement flooding from sewer back-ups,” Fumo said. “My office is working closely with the Water Department, our other partners, and especially the residents to incorporate the Green Streets Program into various sections of this district because we want to help transform Philadelphia into a city celebrated for its environmentally sensitive and beautiful parks, streams and rivers.”

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