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New Video: 2011 Drinking Water Scholastic Awards

Photo: Schuylkill Action Network

In May, the Schuylkill Action Network held its 2011 Drinking Water Scholastic Awards at the Upper Perkiomen School District Education Center. Students (not pictured above, although those are actual children and that is the Schuylkill in the background) presented the various ways in which they're doing their part to keep the Schuylkill River free of pollutants and helping to protect a precious source of drinking water; projects ranged from construction of rain gardens and riparian buffers to water testing and educational videos.

Watch the new three-minute video of the event here.

This Place Is BMPing: Cliveden Park

Each week, we profile a BMP—short for Best Management Practices—to demonstrate how local businesses, organizations and neighbors are helping to keep our streams and rivers clean by managing stormwater on their property.

Cliveden Park collects runoff from two city blocks in Mt. Airy, thanks to a rain garden featuring step pools (pictured above). During storms, rainwater is directed from an adjacent street and flows down a series of step pools into a rain garden. This system not only reduces the stormwater volume through evapotranspiration and infiltration, it also slows the velocity of the runoff that contributes to combined sewer overflows. Directing and detaining stormwater flow over natural surfaces can serve as a filter and help treat polluted runoff, improving its water quality.

Learn more about this stormwater BMP project, find it on a map and view design plans at  the Temple-Villanova Sustainable Stormwater Initiative project page.

Video presentation on the Cliveden Park project from 2008 after the jump.

Our Solar System

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In April, the City of Philadelphia unveiled its first solar photovoltaic system (above), located at PWD's Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant. The 250-kilowatt solar array consists of more than 1,000 panels covering 60,000 square feet, and its electricity will help power the energy-intensive task of water treatment. The project's total cost of $1.7 million—funded jointly by a Recovery Act Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant and PWDis expected to have a 9-year payback period and helps to achieve Mayor Michael Nutter's Greenworks goal of generating 20 percent of Philadelphia's electricity from alternative energy sources by 2015.

"PWD is proud to use clean, sustainable power generated on-site," said PWD commissioner Howard Neukrug at the solar PV installation on April 25. "Because this project was so successful, we’re planning to replicate it at other treatment plants.”

More info and a fact sheet about the solar panels can be found at the Philadelphia Recovery Office's website.

Video of the installation after the jump.

TV Guidance: Green City, Clean Waters Premieres on MIND-TV Saturday Night

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The 30-minute version of the Green City, Clean Waters video will premiere on MIND-TV (formerly WYBE-TV 35, check your local listing) at 8 p.m. on Saturday. The Philadelphia Water Department enlisted GreenTreks to convey the message of a 20-year, $1.6 billion plan to use green stormwater management to alleviate combined sewer overflows from the city's aging sewer system. Green City, Clean Waters looks at how green stormwater management is transforming the city into an oasis of rain gardens, living roofs, treescapes and porous pavements—all of which, say advocates, is cheaper than traditional infrastructure and makes for a more liveable, prettier city with higher property values and better community health. Watch the preview above and set your DVR!

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