Case studies

Philadelphia Water Department

Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters program, which began in 2011, embodies the city’s commitment to build widespread green storm water infrastructure over the next 25 years to help reduce the frequency and water quality impacts of overflows from the city’s combined sewer system. PWD’s Greened Acre Retrofit Program is part of this initiative. Through GARP the City reimburses landowners for the cost of green infrastructure development on properties within the combined sewer zone. In 2018, Greenprint Partners, a mission-driven green infrastructure developer, identified and aggregated of a group of project applications on behalf of institutional organizations located in lower-income areas of Philadelphia, the Leon H. Sullivan Human Services Center and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Germantown. These projects were approved for a total of $800,000 in green stormwater infrastructure site improvements from PWD and will drive more equitable distribution of grant funds and will result in nearly four new greened acres contributing to Philadelphia’s stormwater management goals.

Project at a Glance

Utility Overview

  • Utility: Philadelphia Water Department (PWD)
  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Population served: ~2.2 million people (wastewater system)
  • Service area: 360 square miles (wastewater system)
  • Project Developer: Greenprint Partners
  • Project Proponents: Institutional ratepayers in PWD’s service area


  • Combined sewer overflows
  • Aging water infrastructure
  • Impacts of climate change
  • Desire for urban revitalization
  • Need to keep rates affordable for all Philadelphians
  • Need to motivate private property owners and equitably build resilient solutions


  • Institutional ratepayer participation in PWD’s Greened Acre Retrofit Program to install green infrastructure on their private property and bring multiple benefits to vulnerable communities.

Program costs and funding sources

  • Total project cost: $800,000
  • Funding sources: PWD’s Greened Acre Retrofit Program (GARP)

Benefits of Greenprint's Green Infrastructure Projects in Philadelphia

Making visible investments in the property that drive economic development
Adding community gathering spaces to support commitments to diversity and inclusion
Increasing access to green spaces that encourage tenants to interact with nature
Creating green space for the surrounding communities
Increasing community pride through placemaking
Enhancing community health by encouraging active living
Landowners will reduce their annual stormwater bills up to 80% by earning a stormwater credit

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