City of Philadelphia names first 'Stormwater Pioneer'

The Philadelphia Water Department has named Stanley's True Value Hardware as the city's first Stormwater Pioneer. The store's third-generation owners were recognized as role models for small business owners and private developers looking to reduce stormwater runoff.

PHILADELPHIA, PA, Nov. 20, 2014 -- The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) has officially named Stanley's True Value Hardware, a 66-year-old local business, as the city's first "Stormwater Pioneer". The store's third-generation owners Mark and Joe Jaconski were recognized as role models for small business owners and private developers looking to reduce stormwater runoff from their properties.

Stormwater Pioneers is a new program to recognize these entities for their efforts. The program showcases innovation, excellence, the ability to overcome technical challenges, and a true dedication by property owners, developers, engineers, and designers to decrease pollution that can be carried into streams and rivers during heavy rainstorms.

"We're hoping to keep trash, debris and other pollution out of the water supply so that everyone can enjoy a clean Schuylkill River," said Joe, Stanley's vice president. "If we can play a small part in making the environment better for the next generation, that's a major plus for us."

In 2010, the Jaconskis established a plan to replace their decades-old store with a new one on the same site. Keeping the store open while building another three times the size all on one acre was a challenge, as was working around bedrock and utilities at various locations and protecting a neighboring property.

The site, designed by Ruggiero Plante Land Design (RPLD), includes two underground infiltration basins, which capture runoff and store it for slow release. Aboveground, a rain garden has two feet of a special soil mix that promotes infiltration and plant growth, as well as an impermeable liner on the south side to keep moisture from the neighboring home. A seven-phase staging allowed construction to surround the existing store and keep it open until a new one was ready.

According to Mark, Stanley's president, business has doubled and so has the staff. The goals established for year 10 have been achieved in year two. He also noted that the new garden center has been a boon for the environment and for business. PWD honored the Jaconskis with a plaque that will be permanently installed on the outside of their building, and it also recognized RPLD for its design efforts.

See also:

"PWD optimizes rehabilitation, renewal spending with water infrastructure capital planning software"

"Green Gardening: Program Builds Rain Gardens, Improves Communities' Stormwater Management"

About Philadelphia Water Department

The Philadelphia Water Department serves the Greater Philadelphia region by providing integrated water, wastewater, and stormwater services. As part of its stormwater management plan and in order to meet clean water goals for the city, the Department requires that development projects over a certain size manage stormwater at their sites. Each new development project represents an opportunity to improve the health of Philadelphia's rivers. For more information, visit


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