Friday, November 22, 2019

Philadelphia Water Department Presentation Update

For those of you who were unable to attend the Mayfair Civic Association (MCA) meeting on Monday night, we had a detailed presentation from the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) explaining the construction projects currently happening along Crispin St., and to give us updates as to what is coming to Mayfair with respect to water management.

If you recall, about a year ago the PWD came before the MCA to introduce us to their "Green City, Clean Waters" project, and at the time it was presumed that the project was merely going to entail bumpouts and tree trenches along Rowland Avenue, however the project has expanded.

The bottom photo shows the entire project that the PWD has planned for our area, and the top photo is the focus primarily on Mayfair. There is a public meeting scheduled to take place on December 11th from 6PM to 8PM at the Philadelphia Ghana Church, 7501 Frankford Ave, regarding the Oakmont Street project.

The Mayfair Civic Association has obtained a copy of the PWD presentation that was shared during our meeting, and if anyone would like a copy, please email us at

After our meeting, I was asked several followup questions by community members to which I followed up with the PWD. Below are the Q and A's.  If anyone has additional questions, please feel free to email us, or follow up with the PWD directly at 215.683.3506

Q: Is some sort of median definitely coming to Oakmont street, or is that still up for discussion?  Will this include all three blocks (3300-3500)?
A: The Oakmont St. project will be discussed at the meeting on 12/11 and as presented, there are alternatives for this project to either do a subsurface trench in the street (returning the street to its current condition) or a green median, with or without trees. This project would include all three blocks (3300-3500 Oakmont). We’ll be collecting feedback from residents on the three blocks to see what they prefer. I’ve attached the meeting flyer for your reference and I hope you can attend the meeting.

Q:  Is the Water Department going to maintain all of the trees in the tree trenches and other locations?
A: PWD will maintain trees in the tree trenches, as well as all of our green infrastructure. Once a project is built we offer a Soak it Up Adoption grant to support community groups and help with routine things like trash pickup and light weeding.

Q: Is the Water Department going to accept all responsibility for any damage that may be done as a result of placing trees in trenches and elsewhere (buckling sidewalks / damage to homes / damage to vehicles / damage to pipes / etc)?
A: If there is an impact on a property resulting from PWD’s work, the Water Department will accept responsibility. Furthermore, residents have the ability to file a claim with the City. If needed, the process is as simple as contacting the PWD call center at 215-685-6300 and conducting the claim investigation process with the representative over the phone. Hopefully, this won’t be necessary, but I want to make sure you have the information, if needed.

Q:  Can a homeowner "opt out" of having a tree trench or tree placed in front of their homes?
A: The other projects on the map outside of the Rowland Ave. and Crispin St. projects are still in design so we can evaluate those locations if a resident is concerned about a project (like a tree trench) in front of their property. PWD is required to build green infrastructure projects across the city, but most of the other projects in the Mayfair Civic boundaries are tree trenches, so if a residents is opposed to a tree I’m happy to discuss the matter further with them and work with our engineers to see if we can change the design accordingly.

Q:  Can the bumpouts currently planned for Crispin be moved to Rowland?
A: The projects on Rowland Ave. and Crispin St. are already in construction so there can’t be any changes made to this time.  We evaluated Rowland Ave. and the current projects are where we could manage stormwater, the other blocks it was not feasible. The Rowland Ave. and Crispin St. projects will continue construction as scheduled, but if there are any issues with construction don’t hesitate to contact me or the PWD inspector on site to address concerns.

Donny Smith
Mayfair Civic Association

"Mayfair - 
 An Awesome Place to Live!"


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