Philadelphia Water Department

Chapter 2 - Submission, Review, and Approval Procedures

2.0 Introduction

2.0 Introduction

Chapter 2, Submission, Review, and Approval Procedures, outlines the steps required to obtain the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) Stormwater Plan Review approvals, where PWD certifies that a project complies with, or is exempt from, the PWD Stormwater Regulations (Stormwater Regulations). Before using Chapter 2, the applicant must review Chapter 1 to learn the basics of the Stormwater Regulations and understand the applicability factors that determine if the Stormwater Regulations apply to the project and, if so, which specific requirement(s) apply.

Using the three Stormwater Regulation applicability factors described in Section 1.1 along with the guidance in this Chapter, the applicant can determine a project’s required submission and review process to obtain stormwater management approval or exemption.

2.0.1 Understanding PWD’s Stormwater Plan Review Process

As stated in Chapter 1, PWD reviews all projects in the City of Philadelphia that generate earth disturbance of 5,000 square feet or more. A project’s Review Path varies depending on the type of project, the project’s location, and the project’s earth disturbance area. Projects will fall under one of four major Review Paths:

  • Development Compliance
  • Development Exemption
  • Demolition
  • Stormwater Retrofit

These Review Paths each have one or more Review Phases, and each Review Phase consists of the following:

  1. A submission package from the applicant to PWD containing required information about the project
  2. A PWD review of the applicant’s submission package
  3. Issuance of approval by PWD for the applicant to proceed to the next Review Phase or final approval if in the terminal phase
    Issuance of review comments by PWD to the applicant that must be addressed through resubmission by the applicant to PWD

2.0.2 How to Use this Chapter

Chapter 2 consists of seven Sections, which are listed and described below. A first-time applicant is encouraged to read all Sections sequentially, while others should feel free to use only the Sections of Chapter 2 that are most appropriate for a given project.

  • Section 2.0 - Introduction: The applicant can use this Section to obtain general information on the PWD Stormwater Plan Review process, understand how to use Chapter 2, and to learn about about ways to contact PWD Stormwater Plan Review throughout the process.
  • Section 2.1 - Existing Resources and Site Analysis: The applicant can use this Section to understand the submission requirements for an Existing Resources and Site Analysis (ERSA) Application, which is the starting point for every applicant submitting to PWD Stormwater Plan Review. The applicant must use this Section first to determine which of four Review Paths is required for the project before proceeding to the following Sections of this Chapter.
  • Section 2.2 - Review Paths: Once a project’s Review Path has been determined, the applicant can use this Section to find out more about the project’s Review Path, including all Review Phases within the Review Path.
  • Section 2.3 - Review Phases: The applicant can use this Section to determine what materials need to be submitted to PWD at each Review Phase for each Review Path.
  • Section 2.4 - Expedited Post-Construction Stormwater Management Plan (PCSMP) Reviews: The applicant can use this Section to determine if, and how, their project can obtain approval more quickly.
  • Section 2.5 - PWD’S Development Review Process: The applicant can use this Section to understand how other PWD units and PWD permit requirements may interact with the project’s PWD Stormwater Plan Review approval.
  • Section 2.6 - PWD’S Role in Philadelphia's Development Process: The applicant can use this Section to understand how other City departments and Zoning and Building Permit requirements may interact with the project’s PWD Stormwater Plan Review approval.
  • Section 2.7 - PWD and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection: The applicant can use this Section to understand how Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) requirements interact with the project’s PWD Stormwater Plan Review approval.

Having worked through Chapter 2 to gain an understanding of the applicable Review Path and submission requirements, the applicant may use Chapter 3 to develop a stormwater management strategy that meets the project’s stormwater management requirements.

If the applicant’s project is a Stormwater Retrofit, Chapter 2 can be used to understand the ERSA Application process for the project; however, the applicant is referred to the PWD Stormwater Retrofit Guidance Manual (2015 or latest version) for comprehensive guidance on Stormwater Retrofit requirements and stormwater credits.

2.0.3 Contacting PWD Stormwater Plan Review

Contact Information

At any step in the review process, PWD encourages the applicant to contact PWD Stormwater Plan Review staff for help. For further information, the applicant is invited to email or call (215) 685-6387.

Electronic Submissions

After online submission of an ERSA Application (Section 2.1.1), which is the starting point for every applicant submitting to PWD Stormwater Plan Review, the applicant must subsequently submit all electronic files to:

All email correspondence must include the PWD-assigned project tracking number (Section 2.1.1) in the subject line. If the email includes an attachment that is part of a Review Phase, the applicant should identify the Review Phase, such as "Conceptual Review Phase Submission", in the subject line or body of the text.

Hard Copy Submissions

All hard copy submissions must include a letter of transmittal identifying the PWD project tracking number, type of submission package (PCSMP, PCSMP Field Change, Record Drawing, E&S, etc.) and the applicant's contact information.The applicants must submit all hard copy submission package documents, data CDs, fee payments, and other materials to:

Projects Control
Philadelphia Water Department

1101 Market Street, 2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107-2994

Walk-In Hours

The applicant may also speak with PWD Stormwater Plan Review staff in person by attending Walk-In Hours, which are held every Tuesday, except City holidays, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on the 5th Floor of 1101 Market Street, Philadelphia PA, 19107. Appointments are not necessary. However, if interested in meeting with a specific reviewer, the applicant is encouraged to contact the reviewer in advance of the Walk-In Hours. Applicants will be seen on a first-come basis.

Pre-Application Meetings

The applicant may request a meeting with PWD at any time to address more complex site constraints or innovative stormwater management approaches. For an applicant who wishes to meet prior to submitting an ERSA Application, an email request can be made to using the subject line “Pre-Application Meeting.” As part of the request, applicants must include a completed Private Development Services Pre-Application Meeting Request Form along with a preliminary site plan.

If unprepared to discuss a particular project at this level of detail, the applicant is encouraged to attend Walk-In Hours instead. PWD Stormwater Plan Review will invite other PWD units as needed to the meeting. The applicant may extend the invitation to other City and State agencies if their presence is desired. All pre-application meetings will be held at PWD's office, located at 1101 Market Street. If the applicant would like a written record of the items discussed during the meeting, the applicant is encouraged to take minutes and send the document to PWD within one week for review and comment.

TOP Manual Version: 3.1