By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s more than just new playgrounds being erected with gardens in Philadelphia. They’re actually all part of the city’s long-term plan to reduce the flow of storm water and pollution into the Delaware River.

Marc Cammarata, a Philadelphia deputy water commissioner, says the new playground and rain garden dedicated recently at the Adaire School in Fishtown is part of the city’s strategy to reduce storm water flow and find a productive use for all that rain.

Using the Adaire site as an example, Cammarata says it’s hard for people to imagine just how much storm water can be collected at one place.

“The runoff you would get from a one-inch storm on this site is managed through these rain gardens and rain tanks. It’s about 70,000 gallons,” he said.

And while that amount sounds relatively insignificant, Cammarata says it’s really not.

“If you were to fill a traditional rain barrel with water, that’s 70,000 gallons, and you were to stack ’em on top of each other, it’s about four times higher than the Comcast Center. So, it’s a staggering amount of water,” Cammarata explained.

Cammarata says more than 1,000 greened acres have been reclaimed as a result of similar installations and many others are planned for business and residential areas.