Philadelphia Uses Green Infrastructures to Improve Sewer System

Philadelphia and other smaller cities in Pennsylvania are undergoing extensive changes to enhance the sewer system. Many treatment plant upgrades and programs for sustainability are in the works. The improvements are also aimed at increasing the wastewater facilities capacity to counteract predicaments experienced during wet weather events.  A portion of grants will be used to fund a large-scale capital improvement project which will include upgrading the sewer system. The system has had a history of struggling to handle any sizable storm as the overwhelmed pipelines discharge untreated water into the city’s rivers. Another tactic to combat stormwater issues is to install green infrastructures, such as green roofs or rain barrels at your residence.

The city is in the process of creating protective barriers, as well, by installing stormwater trench trees. This is a system of trees that are connected by an underground infiltration structure. On the surface, a stormwater tree trench looks just like a series of street tree pits. However, under the sidewalk, there is an engineered system to manage the incoming runoff. This system is composed of a trench dug along the sidewalk, lined with a permeable geotextile fabric, filled with stone or gravel, and topped off with soil and trees. Stormwater runoff flows through a storm drain which leads to the stormwater tree trench. The runoff is stored in the empty spaces between the stones, watering the trees and slowly infiltrating through the bottom. If the capacity of this system is exceeded, storm water runoff can bypass it entirely and flow into an existing street inlet.

Philly, what are your plans for June 8th? Perma-Liner Industries is requesting your presence at the 42nd Annual Roto-Rooter Franchise Association Expo! It’s taking place in New Orleans and we’ll be there! Come to the Sheraton New Orleans where they’ll be plenty of exhibits and interesting subject matter to help grow your business. See you then!


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