New Womrath Park To Open In November

 

Rain garden under construction at Womrath Park | Photo: Nathaniel Popkin

Frankford’s Womrath Park, undergoing a major overhaul to transform it into an active stormwater basin, will open in November, according to an official with the Philadelphia Water Department.

The project is funded as part of a $30 million loan received from Pennvest, the state revolving loan fund, to implement PWD’s Green City, Clean Waters program, which is aimed at keeping street runoff out of Philadelphia’s streams and rivers and reducing the number of stormwater overflows that occur each year. Green City, Clean Water will transform over a hundred blocks across the city into green infrastructure.

“Every time we install a project it starts to work immediately, that’s the beauty of this approach,” says PWD’s Jessica Brooks, who oversaw a project design team that included members of the firms Wallace, Roberts, and Todd and Duffield Associates and officials from the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation. Traditional sewer infrastructure is more expensive and provides no benefits until an entire system is installed, a process that might take 10-20 years.

Image: Philadelphia Water Department

Womrath will be capable of accepting an inch of run-off from surrounding streets and the Market-Frankford El, into a series of rain gardens, swales, and basins. Modular storage tanks below the ground of the park will store much of the run-off, releasing it slowly into the sewer system.

Here is how the Water Department describes the performance of the park’s new stormwater system:

Follow the blue arrows to understand the stormwater flow from the street through the inlets to the swale, which directs the stormwater to the rain garden and stone storage bed underneath the rain garden. The swale infiltrates some stormwater, while also directing it to the rain garden, where it is infiltrated into the soil and the stone storage bed. The stormwater is then slowly released when it is not raining back into the existing combined sewer pipe. There is an overflow drain, which connects to an overflow pipe leading to the existing combined sewer pipe, that helps drain the rain garden when it reaches capacity.

Installation of overflow drain in Womrath Park | Photo: Nathaniel Popkin

The new park will reuse broken up concrete already on site and architectural salvage to build a series of check-downs, guiding water through the site.

About the author

Nathaniel Popkin is co-editor of the Hidden City Daily and author of three books of non-fiction, including the forthcoming Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City (Temple Press) and a novel, Lion and Leopard (The Head and the Hand Press). He is the senior writer of the film documentary "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment."



Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
With A Little Help From Frank Furness, We Evaluate 10 New Projects

With A Little Help From Frank Furness, We Evaluate 10 New Projects

June 23, 2017  |  Vantage

Hidden City architecture critic Jason Lempieri summons the spirit of Frank Furness in this appraisal of Philly's newest urban forms > more

Row House: Past And Its Future

Row House: Past And Its Future

June 20, 2017  |  Vantage

Contributor Hilary Jay dives deep into the evolution and politics of contemporary row house design with Interface Studio Architects > more

An Artful Adaptation In Bella Vista

An Artful Adaptation In Bella Vista

June 15, 2017  |  News

A contemporary art gallery and residence on Bainbridge Street goes green with reuse and sustainable renovation. John Henry Scott has the story > more

Behind The Bar At Dirty Frank's

Behind The Bar At Dirty Frank’s

June 13, 2017  |  The Shadow Knows

The Shadow saddles up to the bar at Dirty Frank's with the backstory on one of Philadelphia's most beloved dives > more

With New Penn's Landing Plan, A Central Park

With New Penn’s Landing Plan, A Central Park

June 12, 2017  |  News

Lost in the intense news cycle: major news about the at-long-last redevelopment of Penn's Landing. Nathaniel Popkin has a look > more

With Bloomsday Near, Remembering The Rosenbach Brothers

With Bloomsday Near, Remembering The Rosenbach Brothers

June 9, 2017  |  Vantage

Every year in June a crowd gathers outside of the Rosenbach Museum & Library to celebrate James Joyce's seminal literary masterpiece "Ulysses" with a block party and day full of public readings. Karen Chernick gives us the backstory on the Rosenbach Company and two rare book dealers whose legacy is enshrined on Delancey Place > more