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Guidance Manual

Philadelphia Stormwater Management Guidance Manual, Version 3.2     (Effective 10/1/2020)

What is the Philadelphia Stormwater Management Guidance Manual?

The Philadelphia Stormwater Management Guidance Manual (the Manual, or SMGM) is a comprehensive resource for the development community in complying with the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) Stormwater Regulations (Stormwater Regulations) and designing stormwater management on private property. The Stormwater Regulations require, and PWD design criteria for Stormwater Retrofits outline, on-site stormwater management for certain Development and Stormwater Retrofit projects, respectively, helping to improve the health and vitality of Philadelphia’s waterways along with the City’s own sizable clean water investments.

How will the Manual help me?

The Manual provides detailed guidance for the applicant on how to most quickly and efficiently comply with the Stormwater Regulations or meet PWD design criteria for Development, Stormwater Retrofits, 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 and Stormwater Retrofit projects and expedite the stormwater approval process;
  • Design specific stormwater management practices (SMPs) to meet the PWD's standards;
  • Prepare and submit application materials;
  • Learn how to ensure proper installation and protection of SMPs during construction activity; and
  • 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.