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This week in water: Water Dept gets a $100 million head start on wastewater cleanup, $10k to high school students & hang with hippos in Camden
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This week in water: Water Dept gets a $100 million head start on wastewater cleanup, $10k to high school students & hang with hippos in Camden

The latest water news, including how PWD nets $100 million for a facility to clean Delaware River water

As the Philadelphia Water Department’s Green City, Clean Waters program turns 10 this June, it appears the initiative received an early anniversary present.

Construction is set to begin in 2021 on a multimillion-dollar facility in Northeast Philadelphia that will expand and enhance PWD’s wastewater treatment efforts, specifically as it pertains to the Delaware River. 

Earlier this year, state officials greenlit the project fueled by a record $100 million low-interest loan from the PENNVEST program, which financially supports water efforts throughout the commonwealth. PWD also received an additional $6.7 million from PENNVEST to support ongoing stormwater infrastructure efforts, which PWD says will go towards green infrastructure in the Lawncrest section of the city. 

“Philadelphia’s multi-decade plan to reduce combined sewer overflows just got a huge boost,” said PWD Commissioner Randy Hayman. “This fiscally responsible investment gives us much more muscle and capacity, drastically reducing water pollution that impacts our rivers and streams.”

The site also plans to take much of the load off of the PWD’s Northeast Water Pollution Control Plant, which currently remediates the waste in over 400 million gallons of water daily. According to PWD, the new facility will increase the plant’s treatment capacity by up to 650 million gallons a day. 

Camden-based American Water is again granting 10 high school seniors interested in working in water with a $1,000 scholarship opportunity. | Image: Tai’s Creatives

American Water to give $10,000 to PA high school students

Earlier this month, American Water, with regional headquarters located along the Camden waterfront, announced the opening of its annual Stream of Learning Scholarship program. 

The program will award 10 qualifying high school seniors across the commonwealth looking to pursue a career in water and wastewater management $1,000 each. To qualify, students must: 

  • Be a high school senior in 2021
  • Live in a household serviced by American Water
  • Plan to attend either a two-or four-year college or technical school, and
  • Have their course of study focus on biology, engineering, chemistry, or environmental science. 

Interested students can click here to apply for the scholarship, which has a deadline of April 2 for submissions. Students can also download the application and submit it by mail, but the mail-in date has to be postmarked by April 2. For more information, email American Water’s community relations department at pa.communityrelations@amwater.com

The hippos at the Adventure Aquarium, seen here pre-pandemic, are the center attraction Feb. 13-15 as part of Hippo Awareness Weekend. | Image: Jeff Fusco

Hang out with a hippo this weekend

Genny and Button, the pair of hippos at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden will be the star attraction this weekend as the aquarium has dubbed Feb. 13-15 its Hippo Awareness Weekend. 

In addition to a host of hippo-centric programming, there will be live feedings, hippo-inspired artwork, merchandise, and more as the aquarium is raising awareness around this endangered species which has seen various populations decrease by as much as 20 percent worldwide. 

Proceeds from ticket sales benefit Turgwe Hippo Trust, a leader in ensuring hippos’ survival in the wild. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the aquarium is by reservation only, so only those with a daily ticket or membership packages can reserve their spot. However, there are interactive events that can be done from home for those interested in getting involved. For more information or to reserve a spot, visit the aquarium’s website

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Kerith Gabriel
Kerith Gabriel started out as a sports writer over a decade ago for the Philadelphia Daily News. He left sports to focus on issues that deeply affect Philadelphians but really, he just loves telling a good story, regardless of genre. When he’s not prowling for a story, you can most likely find him playing soccer at Penn Park, or doing the dad thing around town. Email him at kerith.a.gabriel@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter via @sprtswtr. View all posts by Kerith Gabriel

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