Though Philadelphia may best be known for their namesake sandwich, the Cheese Steak, they are making major changes and quickly becoming “The Greenest City in America”.
In order to become the country’s greenest city, Philly has adopted a broad plan of using renewable energy, increasing recycling, an aggressive tree replanting program, and the country’s most ambitious stormwater management plan. Rather than spending massive amounts of money to simply increase the size of sewer pipes and water treatment capacity, Philadelphia has decided to solve it’s stormwater problem through green stormwater management procedures to keep the water out of the sewer system to begin with.
The Philadelphia Water Department has committed to distributing and installing rain barrels while also providing education to its citizens about the uses of the rain barrels and the effects of stormwater. To get this project done, the PWD has partnered with the Energy Coordinating Agency, who have a proven history of successful program management and dedication to energy and environmental conservation.
Pennsylvania Energy Corps member Aaron Slater, in conjuction with Jerry Bennet of ECA have been leading the implementation of this program which may distribute up to 2600 rain barrels city wide. Rather than purchasing prefabricated barrels and shipping them to Philadelphia, ECA will employ local residents to manufacture and install the barrels, which will be made out of recycled materials. This will significantly decrease the cost, create jobs and reduce the carbon footprint of each barrel.
As these rain barrels spread across Philadelphia, the PWD will begin to roll out larger, more ambitious projects. Such projects include things like rain gardens, green streets, and green roofs. When it comes to making a city green, all eyes are on Philly!
For more information visit ECA’s Rain Barrel Project page, or contact Aaron.