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Why were they digging big holes in the lawn at KI?

Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in partnership with the Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership secured grant funding to make stormwater management improvements on KI’s property. The first phase of the project includes installation of subsurface raintanks to manage the runoff from the 1.25 acre rooftop. The raintanks are stackable stormwater chambers which provide open areas for storage. 

The stackable stormwater chambers resemble large milk crates. The system slows the movement of water therefore increasing ground infiltration and extending the settling period rather than the water running into the street . This settling period will allow for reduction of nonpoint source pollutants, such as pet waste, oil and grease from vehicles and sediment. These pollutants have a negative impact on the ecosystem of the waterways in our community.

 In built out communities, such as Cheltenham, opportunities to improve stormwater control exist primarily through voluntary retrofits to the landscape. All tributaries of the Tookany Creek within Cheltenham Township have been identified as impaired. The project is an effective solution to mitigate for the impairments in the watershed, flooding and to clean the water. The second phase of the project will be to install rain gardens in the parking lot to store and clean the stormwater runoff from the parking lot. We are targeting Fall 2022 for these improvements.

Funding for this project was provided by Keneseth Israel, the Department of Environmental Protection’s Growing Greener program and Department of Community and Economic Development’s Watershed Restoration and Protection Program. We are grateful for our partners in this project – Adam Reiff and crew from APCON, Susan Harris from Cerulean Environmental and Tom Halliwell from Grist Engineering.

Contact KI Executive Director Brian Rissinger if you have questions.