Case Study:

Stormwater Bumpouts: Calmer Community, Cleaner Creek

The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) is using a variety of innovations to protect waterways from polluted rainwater, but they're every bit as focused on meeting community needs as they are on keeping stormwater out of rivers and streams. When residents of the Queen Lane section of the city expressed concern about speeding cars during public meetings, the PWD team designed a stormwater management system to control runoff -- and cars.

The innovative "storm water bumpouts" that lie upstream of storm drains are designed to manage runoff from sidewalks and streets AND to create a traffic calming effect. "We don't just come in and do a stormwater project," says PWD's Jessica Brooks, "we meet with the community and try to tailor a solution to their needs…" The bumpouts make a visual impression on a driver -- giving the perception of the road narrowing -- so a driver slows down. That's a real win-win: good for the community and good watershed health.

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This excerpt shows how a storm water bumpout actually works: It's more than a simple curbside planter with flowers and shrubs!

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