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City of Philadelphia

Stormwater Grants

Enhance your property.
Reduce your monthly bill.
Clean up Philadelphia’s waterways.

Stormwater grants can pay for the design and construction of stormwater retrofit projects on non-residential properties in Philadelphia. Stormwater retrofit projects provide an opportunity to add new landscaping, fix drainage problems, and improve the appearance of a property. After a project is complete, the property owner qualifies for lower stormwater charges on his or her monthly bill.

These stormwater retrofit projects are a cost-effective way for the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) to reduce stormwater pollution in Philadelphia’s creeks and rivers. PWD partners with the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) to award millions in stormwater grants every year.

Application: New Requirements and Evaluation

  • The next Stormwater Grant deadline is September 15th at 8:00 a.m. Pre-application meetings are required for all projects and should be held, virtually, before August 14th, 2020.
  • In an effort to provide transparent information to our grant applicants, the Stormwater Incentives team has published specific criteria that will be used to make grant award decisions. To access the criteria, click here.
  • While decisions are ultimately up to PWD’s discretion, the Stormwater Incentives team strongly urges grant applicants to utilize the criteria to develop a competitive grant application. The criteria expand on the "How we evaluate your application" section on page 21 of the Stormwater Grants Application Guide. Both the Stormwater Grants Application Guide and the criteria list should be used together to develop a complete, competitive application.
New Project Requirements
  • Projects must manage at least the first 1.5” of rainfall citywide.
  • Licenses and Inspections permits will be required for all projects. Keep this in mind for project budget and timeline development.
  • Loading ratios for subsurface infiltration systems are now the same for both the combined sewer system and separate sewer system (10:1).
New Guidance
  • We’ve updated the Stormwater Grants Application Guide.
    • We’ve included a Common Application Mistakes Checklist for project teams to evaluate their application before applying.
    • We’ve added a template for the Proof of Consent, which confirms that the property owner will sign PWD’s Subgrant Agreement and Operations and Maintenance Agreement. See the Guide’s appendix for a template.
    • We’ve added a template for the Letter of Intent for projects applying under the Alt-SMIP and GARP models, which confirms that the property owner will work with the applicant as a project team. See the Guide’s appendix for a template.
  • We are currently updating the Stormwater Retrofit Manual to reflect updates to our program. As this is underway, please refer to the Philadelphia Stormwater Management Guidance Manual for technical guidance. Stormwater retrofit projects generally follow the Water Quality design criteria for requirements not specified within the Stormwater Grants Application Guide.

Project Models

Anyone can apply for a stormwater grant with permission from the property owner. When a project is awarded a grant, the applicant is responsible for signing an agreement with PIDC and handling the administration of the grant.

PWD offers three options for interested applicants to receive a stormwater grant:

  • Standard SMIP: the property owner or tenant applies for and manages the grant
  • Alternative SMIP: a community group, non-profit organization, or vendor applies for and manages the grant
  • GARP: a vendor bundles multiple properties into a single application

How to Apply

Please read our Stormwater Grants Application Guide for detailed instructions on the application process. This Guide will help you determine your project model. Note that our website is updated more frequently than the Guide, so please use all Application Deadlines listed on this website, rather than the Guide, when discrepancies exist.

We strongly encourage contacting us during the initial stages of an application so we can help you prepare a competitive application.

Here to Help You

PWD provides assistance throughout the stormwater grant application and implementation process. From feedback on your concept plan to assistance applying for stormwater credits, we are here to help you succeed.

If you have any questions about this program, please contact the PWD Stormwater Grants team at:

(215) 685-6070

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