The city of Philadelphia has come out with an innovative regulation under the “Green City Clean Waters Program” (GCCW) to solve 85% of its problems with storm water and sewage management over the next 25 to 30 years using low impact development (LID) practices.
LID involves the application of rain water control mechanisms such as rain garden, storm water tree trenches and permeable surfaces that return the rain water back to its hydrologic cycle in the process filter pollutants.
The major issue that older city water management infrastructure fail to cope up is to manage the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) problem. In the event of high rainfall where the sanitation sewers and storm sewers are connected thereby leading the sewage water to be discharged into the rivers and streams. A new study by a professor of Community and Regional Planning and Temple’s Center for Sustainable Communities Director, Jeffrey Featherstone, studies how Philadelphia is facing challenges with regards to its sewearage problems using the GCCW.
The GCCW program ensures that the city alerts its inhabitants over the sewage water they release in relation to the amount of storm water runoffs. The more the city’s inhabitants take on LID practices, due credit will be given to them in their water and sewerage billing. This regulatory mechanism is an innovative way to encourage residents to take up to environmentally sustainable practices.
In undertaking this new regulation the city hopes to integrate better water management practices with lesser municipal investment of $2billion rather than building new additional infrastructure saving $17 billion in the process.