Media Alert: Philly Water Pollution Reduction Efforts Get Big Boost with $107M in Pa. Funding

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philadelphia water department

For Immediate Release: January 25, 2021 

Contact: Laura Copeland | (215) 300-9208 |

State Greenlights $100M Facility to Reduce Delaware River Pollution

Preliminary Treatment Building II

This rendering illustrates plans for a new facility that will treat billions of gallons of wastewater annually.

“Philadelphia’s multi-decade plan to reduce combined sewer overflows just got a huge boost.”- Commissioner Hayman

PHILADELPHIA–Philadelphia’s Water Department is moving forward on a big-ticket, sustainable infrastructure project unlike any seen since federal funding helped the city expand wastewater treatment and meet new Clean Water Act standards in the 1980s.

Construction of the new $100 million preliminary treatment building was green-lighted thanks to a low-interest loan awarded by the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority’s PENNVEST program, which funds sewer, stormwater and drinking water projects across the state. The award was first announced January 20, 2021.

The state-of-art site will support the nearby Northeast Water Pollution Control Plant, providing pretreatment to allow for a major increase in capacity during wet weather. The project at Richmond and Wheatsheaf Streets will address numerous requirements under the federal Clean Water Act and the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law.

A record-breaking investment for PENNVEST, the new facility will drastically reduce pollution in the Delaware River and employ local workers. Plans for the building include a green roof and two-stage odor-control system to meet Clean Air Act requirements.

Screening and inorganic materials removal will allow the plant to increase its wet-weather treatment capacity by 215 million gallons per day. That brings the plant’s capacity to 650 million gallons treated per day.

An additional $6.72 million in funding to bolster stormwater management was also announced by PENNVEST on January 20, 2021. That loan will go toward green stormwater upgrades in the Lawncrest neighborhood, with construction dates to be announced.

Both investments allow the City of Philadelphia to work towards meeting its  federal Clean Water Act obligations detailed in the city’s internationally recognized, 25-year Green City, Clean Waters initiative.

“Philadelphia’s multi-decade plan to reduce combined sewer overflows just got a huge boost,” said Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner Randy E. Hayman. “We are thrilled to move forward with this vital piece of our effort. This fiscally responsible investment gives us much more muscle and capacity, drastically reducing water pollution that impacts our rivers and streams.”

Launched in 2011, Green City, Clean Waters will reach the 10-year mark in June 2021.

The new facility and Lawncrest project will ultimately help Philadelphia meet Green City, Clean Waters pollution reduction goals, which call for the elimination of about eight billion gallons of sewer overflow annually by 2036.