Through Rain Check, you can save money, improve your landscaping and help protect Philadelphia’s rivers and streams. Participate in the program and you will join more than 5,000 Philadelphia residents who have installed stormwater management tools on their properties to stop pollution from entering our waterways.
We believe every Philadelphia resident can help to improve the health of our rivers. Flowers in rain gardens, new permeable paver patios and rain barrels can all spruce up a property, but these tools do more than look nice. Each of these landscaping amenities plays an important role in capturing stormwater that would otherwise contribute to sewer overflows that hurt Philly’s rivers.
Stormwater runoff, another term for rainwater or melting snow that doesn’t soak into the ground, is the biggest threat to the health of Philadelphia’s waterways. Because our homes, businesses and roads cover the soil, most water that falls during storms goes right into sewers. Every time it rains in the City, stormwater runoff collects oil, grease and other harmful pollutants and carries it to our rivers. In some cases, this water mixes with sewage and our sewer system overflows. This hurts rivers, and laws require we fix the problem.
Green City, Clean Waters is a City of Philadelphia program that keeps pollution out of rivers and creeks by soaking up the rain water before it enters the sewers. Throughout the City, the Philadelphia Water Department is building green tools that use plants, soil, special pavement and stone to soak up rain water. Each year, Green City, Clean Waters projects soak up millions of gallons of polluted stormwater runoff from parks, schools, streets and other public places. But with more than 1.5 million people and hundreds of thousands of homes in Philadelphia, residents like you can play a big role in keeping local waterways clean.
The Philadelphia Water Department started the Rain Check program in 2012 to help residents manage stormwater and contribute to the health of our local rivers and streams. The Water Department funds this program as part of our overall plan to improve stormwater management in the City and to educate Philadelphia residents on the importance of managing stormwater runoff. Rain Check fits into the mission of the Department to provide high quality drinking water, waste water and stormwater services to the Philadelphia region.
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1827, committed to connecting people to horticulture and together creating beautiful, healthy and sustainable communities. In addition to producing the annual Philadelphia Flower Show, America’s largest and longest-running horticultural event, PHS operates a comprehensive collection of urban greening, gardening, and tree planting programs that are a model for cities across the country. Since 2014, PHS has managed the Rain Check program, including scheduling and leading workshops, interacting with program participants, and coordinating with the subcontractor network to install residential stormwater management tools.
The mission of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) is to build a just, green, and thriving economy in the Greater Philadelphia region. Since 2001, SBN has been the leading advocacy and membership organization for thriving, independent, locally-owned businesses committed to improving their environmental and social impacts as well as their profitability. One of our programs that demonstrates our mission in action is our Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Partners, which was formed to support the triple bottom line success of Philadelphia’s nationally-recognized stormwater management plan, Green City, Clean Waters. Complimenting that initiative, SBN works closely with PHS on management of Rain Check, helping to promote the program, recruit new Rain Check subcontractors, and provide support to the subcontractor network.