Green City, Clean Waters


Southwest Philly can expect to see more green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), such as bumpouts, rain gardens, and tree trenches sprouting across the area. 

This new vegetation will not only beautify communities but help to reduce pollution in our local waterways.

The projects are part of Green City, Clean Waters – a 25-year initiative to improve the quality of our waterways by installing GSI in our neighborhoods, coupled with traditional infrastructure like collection, pumping, and wastewater treatment plant enhancements.

GSI combines natural vegetation, such as plants and trees, with engineered systems to capture and collect rainwater flowing from hard surfaces, like streets and sidewalks. Native vegetation is planted on the top of a ‘green tool’ to soak up water while the stone bed underground is used to store as much stormwater runoff as possible. 

Green stormwater tools, which the Philadelphia Water Department maintains in perpetuity, are currently keeping an estimated three billion gallons of polluted runoff out of local rivers and creeks during a typical year.

Residents can go online to search the locations of GSI systems in their ZIP codes or neighborhoods, learn about the type of ‘green tools’ planned for their street, and more on the Philadelphia Water Department’s Projects Page: 

Please reach out to West Philly Community Outreach Specialist Dan Schupsky ( to schedule a community GSI presentation, or sign up for Philadelphia Water Department updates, including construction notifications at 

Learn more about Green City, Clean Waters:

Share This