Eco express


length: 9:35

Green City, Clean Waters


Keywords: green city clean waters , combined sewer , storm water , treatment plant , capacity overflow , untreated sewage , separate sewer system , pollutants , conventional infrastructure , green infrastructure , runoff , mimic , erosion , habitat , infiltrate , tributaries , pavements , storm drains , green management practices , water quality impairments , stormwater , climate connections , PWD ,

When it rains in the City of Brotherly Love, problems soon follow. More than half of the city has "combined" sewers, meaning pipes that carry both stormwater and sewage. When it rains, the system overfills quickly. This surplus of water mixes with raw sewage and non-point source pollution like road oil. It pours untreated into rivers through 164 overflow pipes.

Many cities build miles-long, multibillion-dollar tunnels to hold stormwater overflows, which then pump the overflows back into the system once the rain stops. Philadelphia is doing something different that promotes the natural water cycle. The Philadelphia Water Department’s stormwater management plan is based on “green infrastructure.” This plan envisions transforming the city into an oasis of rain gardens, green roofs, treescapes, and porous pavements! Advocates say this method is cheaper than tunnels and makes for an urban community that is more livable, prettier, and healthier.

Climate Connections: Green roofs are a green infrastructure tool being employed by cities to prepare for and adapt to climate change. Check out the Climate Connections in Teacher Resources!

You are not logged in

That means you're not authorized to view key elements of EcoExpress.
If you're a teacher, log in or create an account now.

That way you'll be sure you have access to correlations to Pennsylvania Curriculum Standards for Environment and Ecology and Science and Technology, Learning Pod materials, the ability to create and share your own playlists and instant notification of new features as soon as they become available.

If you're not a teacher, feel free to enjoy the videos and learn more about us at