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New Paving Project Will Help Philadelphia Manage Stormwater

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Water Department is advancing environmental technology that is, literally, groundbreaking.

KYW’s Pat Loeb reports it’s paved a parking lot with materials that will let rain drain directly into the ground.

“We’re not going to have a traditional ribbon-cutting today, instead we’re going to have a water-pouring,” Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug said.

Neukrug couldn’t wait to show off the permeability of the fancy materials used in the parking lot at the Southwest water treatment plant.

The lot is paved with six different kinds of materials so the water department can test which work best to let rainwater pass, rather than run off into gutters and rivers, taking surface debris with it.

Mayor Michael Nutter says it has multiple benefits.

“These surfaces decrease the risk of flooding during heavy rains and lowers the level of contaminants in our water because the stone bed and ground work as a natural filtering system,” Nutter said.

The lot cost about 50 percent more to pave this way, but officials say projects like this will help bring the cost down so more surfaces can be made permeable and reap the benefits.

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