March 13, 2019 – Clean Water in Philadelphia

Dottie Baumgartner explained stormwater management in Philadelphia in some detail. It is important to manage the rain as it comes off of one’s property, since in this neighborhood all water flows down to the Wissahickon Creek. This is our neighborhood drinking water! The intake is in the Queen Lane treatment center, where the water is prepared for drinking.


The Wissahickon watershed area consists of those areas, stretching from Montgomery County through Philadelphia, where rainwater runs into the creek. This watershed is part of a larger Schuylkill River watershed area.


In Philadelphia, some 40% of residences split rainwater runoff from sewage; 60% have combined sewers. It is therefore important that rainwater run onto the land and not directly into the sewers. In periods of heavy rainfall, the sewer lines become full and the combined rainwater-sewage runs directly into the creek or into the Schuylkill River.


The cycle of treatment is as follows: runoff into the river  à treatment plant à homes à wastewater treatment à river.


Dottie Baumgartner was formally a science teacher. She took business courses at the Business Center (run by our own Pam Rich-Wheeler) to help her prepare for a transition to independent consultant and educator. She now works primarily for the Philadelphia Water Department and several schools.)

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