Philadelphia Water Department

Guidance Manual

Philadelphia Stormwater Management Guidance Manual v 3.1 effective 7/2/2018

What is the Philadelphia Stormwater Management Guidance Manual?

The Stormwater Regulations require on-site stormwater management for development projects that disturb 15,000 square feet (5,000 in certain watersheds) of earth disturbance. Other types of construction activities may also trigger portions of the Stormwater Regulations, including demolition and voluntary stormwater retrofit projects.  The Philadelphia Stormwater Management Guidance Manual is a comprehensive resource for the development community, designed to help the applicant navigate the Stormwater Plan Review process and demonstrate compliance with the Stormwater Regulations. This Manual, as referenced in Section 600.1(o) of the Stormwater Regulations, should not be confused with other PWD stormwater manuals, such as the Stormwater Retrofit Manual, Retrofit Operation and Maintenance Manual, Credits and Appeals Manual, Green Streets Design Manual, A Guide to Stomwater Management on School Campuses, Transforming Philadelphia's Schoolyards, Rain Check, or other Green Stormwater Infrastructure Planning and Design resources, which are designed for voluntary (non-regulatory) stormwater management.

How Will the Manual Help Me?

The Manual provides detailed guidance for the applicant on how to quickly and efficiently comply with the Stormwater Regulations for development and other construction projects. Using this Manual, the applicant will be able to do the following:

  • Determine if a project is regulated under the Stormwater Regulations and, if so, what specific requirements need to be met
  • Learn about new ways to incorporate green approaches to stormwater management that provide benefits for development projects and expedite the stormwater approval process
  • Design specific Stormwater Management Practices (SMPs) to meet the Philadelphia Water Department standards.
  • Prepare and submit application materials
  • Learn how to ensure proper installation and protection of SMPs during construction activity
  • Obtain information on post-construction and Operations and Maintenance (O&M) requirements

Can I send PWD feedback on the Manual?

In addition to providing users with a fully searchable and downloadable Manual, the website allows for responsive and targeted content and layout updates.  As the development community takes advantage of the new platform, PWD encourages the use of the Manual comment form provided below.  Suggested changes, corrections, and other feedback will assist PWD in improving this resource through future versions.