Philadelphia Stormwater Charge: Community Garden Discount

Here’s how you can get a discount on your Philadelphia stormwater bill for your community garden

Good news! Thanks to a Philadelphia city program, eligible community gardens and market farms can apply for a special discount providing up to 100 percent off monthly stormwater fees from the Philadelphia Water Department.

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

This exemption  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.

When completed, send your application and your documentation to

Stormwater Billing Program

Philadelphia Water Department

1101 Market St., 4th Floor

Philadelphia, PA 19107

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.

Apply for this now (PDF), see the Letter of Consent, navigate to the Stormwater Parcel Viewer, or explore related resources below!

This document is meant to be a living document of resources and recommendations for those growing food for themselves, their neighbors or others. If you would like to add a resource to this page, or if you see something on this page that appears to be inaccurate, please contact Jonathan McJunkin.

More resources for securing access or ownership of land for your garden or farm

How to Obtain Land Through Adverse Possession

Gaining land ownership through adverse possession in Philadelphia requires a 21 year statutory period before you can obtain the title to the land or property.

About Neighborhood Gardens Trust

The Neighborhood Gardens Trust is a crucial resource for the preservation of gardens and community green space, providing a trust for public land in Philadelphia.

Conservatorship of Vacant Properties

Conservatorship is a helpful tool to obtain the rights to manage a property in order to return it to productive use and into compliance with code.

Gardening Without Ownership

You don’t need to own vacant land to establish a community garden or green space in Philadelphia, but gardening without ownership comes with risks. Find out how to get started.

Licenses, Permits, and Regulations

If you plan to sell food produced in your farm or garden–especially prepared foods–you should be aware of Philadelphia laws about food safety & preparation.

Water For Your Garden

There are several options in Philadelphia for providing water to gardens and urban farms.

Liens and Debt

Unpaid debt from a previous owner can stand in the way of using a vacant lot for a community space–here’s how to find out if a vacant lot has debt, and what to do.

Employment and Labor Law

If you are looking to hire workers or have volunteers in your community garden or urban farm, you need to comply with state and local labor laws.