Gray to Green: Jumpstarting Private Sector Investment in Green Stormwater Infrastructure in the City of Philadelphia


Philly Office of Watersheds

Plan envisions absorbent landscape

The Philadelphia Water Department has just begun to unveil its new billing structure that will charge commercial property owners for the property’s percentage of impervious surface, as opposed to water usage. Commercial property owners will have to convert their properties in order to reduce their bill.

The Phildelphia Water Department has also submitted a proposal to the US Environmental Protection Agency that would transform 1/3 of all Philadelphia’s impervious cover to porous cover, requiring a $1.6 billion investment.

That $1.6 billion, however, will be spent on municipal projects; another 55% of projects will have to occur on privately owned properties.

Design with Nature

“We want to do anything we can do to return us as close as possible to the way nature intended the water cycle to be,” states Howard Neukrug, Director of the Philadelphia Water Department’s watersheds office.

“But we need to do that within the context of a city that is fully grown, with incredible impervious cover everywhere.”

“We recognize that if we manage stormwater where it lands, whether on the ground or on a roof, that in very many circumstances we can not only prevent that gallon of water from overflowing, but we may be able to find additional benefits for our customers.”

To Learn More About Philadelphia’s Bold Plan

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