Philadelphia’s Green Stormwater Plan Will Bring More Work to Contractors
The Environmental Protection Agency recently approved an ambitious $2 billion plan by the City of Philadelphia to drastically transform how stormwater and sewer overflows are managed. Known as the “Green City, Clean Waters” plan, Philadelphia’s initiative will implement the use of innovative green solutions to address the persistent problem of excessive and unsanitary stormwater runoff and sewer overflow. It also involves a substantial investment in green construction over the next two and a half decades.
In developing the plan, which was first proposed in 2009, the City aimed to create an infrastructure program that would manage stormwater runoff and sewage overflow in a sustainable way, reducing the need for additional underground infrastructure. Rather than following the lead of other large cities by building large and expensive new tunnels to manage billions of gallons of runoff and overflow each year, Philadelphia has chosen to pursue a comprehensive, environmentally sustainable approach that would involve, among other things, reducing the amount of stormwater runoff and sewage overflow to begin with. Examples of the innovative techniques being envisioned include the reseeding of currently impervious watershed hardscapes, the use of porous pavements and green roofs.
Whatever you may think of “green building,” one thing is clear: the plan will mean more work for contractors. The Philadelphia Water Department anticipates that construction work for the plan will amount to $50 million per year. Requests for proposals are being issued, and the PWD expects to award bids in the coming months.
More information about the Green City, Clean Waters plan can be found at www.phillywatersheds.org.