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To support the growth of the GSI industry we collect and share information about credits, bonuses, incentives, and technical and educational resources, including manuals and guides, for businesses in the GSI industry.

Understand The RegulationsCSO (Philadelphia)MS4MaintenanceFunding OpportunitiesHomeowners and Residential PropertiesTrainingAcademic Research

Understand The Regulations

Federal & State

Clean Water Act-Established water quality standards for surface water in the United States. The State enforces these standards by issuing permits that regulate combined sewer overflows and stormwater runoff in areas with separate sewer systems.

Pennsylvania Act 167-Requires counties to develop and implement stormwater management plans for local watersheds. With this, counties must also create ordinances to regulate development in line with these plans.

More information is available from the Department of Environmental Protection.

Philadelphia Water Department Stormwater Regulations

To meet state and federal regulations, PWD developed regulations to comply with the requirements and effectively carry out a comprehensive stormwater management program:

All development projects that disturb more than 15,000 square feet of earth (5,000 square feet in certain watersheds) must meet PWD’s Stormwater Regulations. The Stormwater Regulations have four main components: Water Quality, Channel Protection, Flood Control, and Public Health and Safety Release Rate requirements.

More information is available on Philadelphia Water’s Stormwater Plan Review website.

CSO (Philadelphia)

  • PWD Stormwater Regs
  • New Development and Redevelopment
  • Incentives
  • Retrofits
  • GSI Contractors Working with PWD
  • Philly Specific Tools (Stormwater Credits Explorer, PWD Stormwater Billing Map, TPL Smart Cities Tool)


A Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) is a conveyance or system of conveyances that is:

  1. Owned by a state, city, town, village, or other public entity that discharges to waters in the U.S.
  2. Designed or used to collect or convey stormwater (e.g. storm drains, pipes, ditches)
  3. Not a combined sewer
  4. Not part of a sewage treatment plan, or publicly owned treatment works (POTW)

Resource Guide for MS4

This Quick Resource Guide to the PA MS4 Program includes MCM (minimum control measures) for stormwater management plans (SWMPs) to meet the conditions of the EPA’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and the best management practices to act on them.

General information on Municipal Stormwater

Municipal Stormwater – PA Department of Environmental Protection

Addressing Stormwater Management Requirements in MS4 Communities – LandStudies, Inc.


Philadelphia Water Department GSI Maintenance Manual

Version 2 of this Maintenance Manual (2016) describes the Philadelphia Water Department’s GSI maintenance program for surface and subsurface features. The manual presents standard operating procedures, equipment, and materials for maintenance professionals and operators to execute specific tasks for routine maintenance of Philadelphia Water GSI.

Version 1: The Green Infrastructure Maintenance Manuel (2014) describes the operation and maintenance of the full range of types of green stormwater infrastructure projects that have been, and that are proposed to be, implemented by the City as part of the CSO Program, and is designed to be used by City agencies and anyone else who has responsibility for performing maintenance of green stormwater infrastructure. The ongoing operation and maintenance of BMPs is important to the long-term success of Green City, Clean Waters.

GSI As-Built Survey & Drafting Manual

This Survey & Drafting Manual describes procedures for collecting and drafting as-built survey data for Philadelphia Water Department GSI projects. As-built data is used to verify that SMPs will perform as designed and is relied upon during routine and special maintenance. The manual presents detailed instructions for construction contractors on the collection and presentation of survey data in a manner that can be integrated smoothly into PWD’s existing records. The manual is considered an extension of the project specifications, by reference.

Funding Opportunities

Philadelphia Water Department Grants

  • Stormwater Management Improvement Program (SMIP) – Provides grants directly to non-residential property owners who want to construct stormwater retrofit projects. For eligible properties with combined or separate sewer systems.
  • Greened Acre Retrofit Program (GARP) – Provides grants to contractors, companies, or project aggregators who can build large-scale stormwater retrofit projects across multiple properties. For eligible properties with combined sewer systems only. 

PA Department of Environmental Protection Watershed Grants – Includes a searchable database for watershed grants.

Growing Greener – PA DEP’s Growing Greener Program invests state funds to address critical environmental concerns in Pennsylvania.  

Soak it Up – Provides grants to civic groups to help maintain the beauty and functionality of green stormwater infrastructure

Chesapeake Bay G3 Grant Program – Communities in Maryland and the Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, and DC sections of the Chesapeake Bay watershed are eligible. Local governments and non-profit entities are available to apply. This program is open to local governments such as municipalities, non-profit organizations, neighborhood/community associations, and other non-profit entities.  The scope of the grants include green stormwater infrastructure projects, such as green streets, within the context of a current or ultimate strategy in which “green” components are added to retrofit projects as a matter of standard practice. The program is intended to support and foster market incentives for green infrastructure by building local and county-level capacity to implement innovative, cost-effective projects.

Additional Resources on Financing Opportunities & Models

Paying for Green Infrastructure – Environmental Protection Agency

Homeowners and Residential Properties

A Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater Management

Use the Philadelphia Water Department Office of Watershed’s Guide to learn what you can do on your own property to help manage stormwater and support greater water quality in your watershed.

Rain Check

Rain Check is Philadelphia Water Department’s residential stormwater management program that helps homeowners manage stormwater and beautify their properties through the installation of stormwater tools for free or at a reduced price. The Rain Check program offers rain barrels, downspout planters, rain garden, depaving, and porous paver options to participants. SBN is proud to be supporting the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) in the management of this wonderful and unique Philadelphia Water program.


Academic Research

Drexel UniversityThe Sustainable Water Resource Engineering Laboratory is a collaborative environment in which students, faculty, researchers, and community partners innovate the next generation of socially, ecologically, and economically sustainable water infrastructure systems. Our applied research involves field work in urban and urbanizing watersheds and the development of new cross-disciplinary modeling and analysis tools.

Temple University

Villanova UniversityThe Villanova Urban Stormwater Parntership (VUSP)’s mission is to advance the evolving field of sustainabel stormwater management and to foster the development of public and private partnerships through research.

University of PennsylvaniaThe Water Center is a business, technology and scientific ‘Hub for Innovation’ for the development of 22nd century approaches to urban water management and policy.

More Resources

Helpful Philadelphia Water linksResources for material supply and GSI related servicesOpenDataPhillyPA Department of Environmental ProtectionNatural Resource Defense Council researchAdditional web training and resourcesPrivate-Public Partnerships

Helpful Philadelphia Water links

Resources for material supply and GSI related services


PA Department of Environmental Protection

Pennsylvania Stormwater Best Management Practices Manual (PDF)

Natural Resource Defense Council research

Developers’ Green Infrastructure Guide

Additional web training and resources

  • Municipal Online Stormwater Training Center– The Municipal Online Stormwater Training (MOST) Center was established in 2015 to bridge the gap in needed technical and financial stormwater management resources in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.  This free, virtual Center provides users with tools to better communicate about, build and enhance local stormwater programs.
  •– Tools and resources for integrating trees as green infrastructure for stormwater management. This guide helps inform local decision makers on best practices for including trees in stormwater design regulations and policies.

Private-Public Partnerships

  • P3 Great Lakes– An initiative working to increase efficiencies and lower costs in green infrastructure through evaluating alternative delivery options, finance models, and decentralized stormwater management via community-based public-private partnerships (CBP3).
  • EPA Local Government Guide to CBP3s– An EPA resource that allows communities to determine their capacity to develop a public-private partnership program to meet stormwater regulatory requirements.
  • Municipal Online Stormwater Training Center– Offers a four part video series on leveraging the strengths of government and the private sector through public-private partnerships.