Positively Philadelphia: Beautify your home while helping the environment

Lauren Lipton
October 13, 2019 - 4:30 am
A rain garden on display, made possible by the Rain Check program.

Courtesy of Philadelphia Water Department


The Philadelphia Water Department's Rain Check may be one of the best programs you've never heard of. It helps you beautify your home and the city, and help the environment. Everyone comes out a winner.

"Philadelphia residents through the Rain Check programs are eligible to receive free or reduced cost storm water tools installed at their homes," said Zach Popkin of the Philadelphia Horticultural Society, who manages the Rain Check program. "That includes rain barrels, down spout planters, rain gardens and permeable pavers."

Popkin explained why this is such a big deal.

"Participating in rain check programs prevents storm water from going into the sewer system," he said. "Underground in much of Philadelphia there in a single pipe system that manages both rain water and sewage water. When it rains and the sewer pipe reaches its capacity, it will then overflow into local waterways. This is untreated sewage. It's pretty gross to think about, honestly. "  

Any homeowner can help, and get a rain barrel installed for free, and even subsidies for a garden or to fix a cracked patio.