Stormwater Service Charge: Community Garden Discount

The new year brings some welcome news for Philadelphia’s gardening community: as of January 2017, qualifying community gardens can apply for discounted monthly stormwater fees.

Working with local gardening organizations, City Council and Mayor Kenney, the Philadelphia Water, Sewer and Storm Water Rate Board held hearings on the proposed discount throughout the fall of 2016 before officially approving the change on December 22, 2016.

Now, eligible community gardens can apply for a special discount providing up to 100 percent off monthly stormwater fees.

The discount is designed for community gardens where:

  • The property’s principal use is for growing plants
  • A community group or other non-profit operates the garden for public benefit
  • Stormwater is sustainably managed on at least 80 percent of the property

Even though the language says “community garden,” this also includes market farms that meet the above criteria.

More details about requirements can be found on the Philadelphia Water Dept. website and within the Stormwater Management Service Charge Community Garden Discount application form.

If you have questions about the process or would like to request a printed copy of the form, call 215 685 6244 or email

Members of the Philadelphia Water Dept. Stormwater Billing team are happy to work with community garden members interested in applying for this discount.