Green City, Clean Waters: City of Philadelphia names first "Stormwater Pioneer"



Green City, Clean Waters

Green rainwater infrastructure is crucial to the implementation of Green City, Clean Waters, the City’s innovative, environmentally-sustainable 25-year plan to protect and enhance local waterways primarily through the use of green rainwater infrastructure.

“As we evolve Philadelphia into America’s most sustainable and green city, the opportunities ahead will be limited only by the confines of our imaginations and the extent of our determination,” says Howard Neukrug, Commissioner of the City of Philadelphia’s Water Department.

Role Models for Small Business

In November 2014, the Philadelphia Water Department officially named Stanley’s True Value Hardware, a 66-year-old local business, as the city’s first “Stormwater Pioneer”. The store’s third-generation owners Mark and Joe Jaconski were recognized as role models for small business owners and private developers looking to reduce stormwater runoff from their properties.

Stormwater Pioneers is a new program to recognize these entities for their efforts. The program showcases innovation, excellence, the ability to overcome technical challenges, and a true dedication by property owners, developers, engineers, and designers to decrease pollution that can be carried into streams and rivers during heavy rainstorms.Joe Jaconski_120p

“We’re hoping to keep trash, debris and other pollution out of the water supply so that everyone can enjoy a clean Schuylkill River,” said Joe Jaconski, Stanley’s vice president. “If we can play a small part in making the environment better for the next generation, that’s a major plus for us.”

In 2010, the Jaconskis established a plan to replace their decades-old store with a new one on the same site. Keeping the store open while building another three times the size all on one acre was a challenge, as was working around bedrock and utilities at various locations and protecting a neighboring property.

The site includes two underground infiltration basins, which capture runoff and store it for slow release. Above ground, a rain garden has two feet of a special soil mix that promotes infiltration and plant growth, as well as an impermeable liner on the south side to keep moisture from the neighboring home. A seven-phase staging allowed construction to surround the existing store and keep it open until a new one was ready.

To Learn More:

To read more about Philadelphia’s bold plan for green infrastructure, click on these links to access stories previously published on Water Bucket:

And click here to access the homepage for the Philadelphia Water Department’s Office of Watersheds.

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