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Planning

It’s important for development projects to consider stormwater management requirements and layout early in the project planning process. This page will help to determine project applicability to the PWD Stormwater Regulations.

To learn more about stormwater management and watershed issues in Philadelphia, check out the Stormwater 101 page. For more detailed information, please refer to the Introduction of the Philadelphia Stormwater Management Guidance Manual (Manual).

Determine Applicability

The requirements of PWD’s Stormwater Regulations are determined by a project’s earth disturbance.

Examples of Earth Disturbance include, (but are not limited to)
  • Excavation
  • Land development
  • Moving, depositing, stockpiling, or
    soil rock and other earth materials
  • Foundation and building slab removal
  • Subsurface utility connections
    and replacements
  • New paving or full depth
    pavement replacement
  • Grading, clearing,grubbing, landscaping

At a minimum, development projects that propose more than 5,000 square feet of earth disturbance must submit an Existing Resource Site Analysis (ERSA) Application to PWD. There are additional requirements as the earth disturbance value increases:

Stormwater Management Requirements based on Earth Disturbance
 <5,000 SF  5,000 – 15,000 SF  15,000 SF – 1 Acre  >1 Acre

No ERSA Submission Required. Install Erosion and Sediment (E&S) Controls as needed.

  1. Submit an ERSA Application including an E&S Plan.
  1. Submit an ERSA Application including a Conceptual Stormwater Management Plan.
  2. After obtaining Conceptual Approval submit a Post Construction Stormwater Management Plan.
  1. Submit an ERSA Application including a Conceptual Stormwater Management Plan.
  2. After obtaining Conceptual Approval, submit a Post Construction Stormwater Management Plan. Applicant must also obtain a NPDES Permit from PADEP.

Note that there are other factors besides earth disturbance, such as development type and watershed, that will determine specific stormwater management requirements. For more information, refer to Design and Permitting.

Going above and beyond the Regulations

In addition to the Stormwater Regulations, PWD is also responsible for reviewing residential developments that are seeking a Green Roof Density Bonus as specified in §14-602.7 of the Zoning Code. This review must be conducted before the project can obtain a Zoning Permit from the Department of Licenses & Inspections. Find out more about submission requirements here.

For Projects located in a combined sewer service area, PWD funding may be available to upsize stormwater management systems to capture runoff from existing impervious area either on site or in adjacent public streets. For more information email pwd.planreview@phila.gov.

Managing stormwater runoff to meet or exceed the PWD Stormwater Regulations can also help a project achieve LEED certification. Contact a LEED professional to learn more.

Need help?

  • See Chapter 1: Regulatory Requirements of the Philadelphia Stormwater Management Guidance Manual
  • Contact PWD Stormwater Plan Review at (215)-685-6387 or pwd.planreview@phila.gov
  • Attend Walk-In Hours! Held every Tuesday from 11 am – 1 pm on the 5th Floor of 1101 Market Street. No appointment necessary, just drop by!
  • Applicants can also request a Pre-Application Meeting for a more formal discussion of the project with various units from PWD.