By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–Philadelphia is taking another step toward being in the forefront of the “sustainability” movement by using a $5-million EPA grant for its “Green City, Clean Waters” plan.

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EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe says Philadelphia is leading by example in implementing green infrastructure storm water management practices.

“Storm water management, which sounds like such a dry subject, although it is very wet, is turning into something much bigger.”

Villanova, Temple, Penn, Swarthmore, and the University of New Hampshire, are each getting about $1-million to turn their students and teachers loose to evaluate how the city manages its water supply.

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Villanova’s Rob Traver, a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, says they’re addressing problems from combined sewer overflows.

“We’re partnering with Philadelphia water. We want to go in and see how some of their current designs are working and then make suggestions to make them more cost effective and efficient.”

The intent is to protect a system that combines sewage and storm water pipes that feed into water treatment facilities, where polluted wastewater is treated. When a system overflows, wastewater flows directly into waterways.

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(credit: Steve Tawa)

Mayor Nutter addresses crowd at the Fairmount Water Works
(credit: Steve Tawa)