Street Litter Index for Drainage Area Upstream of PWD’s T-08 Outfall

Much of the Creek trash visible as one walks along Tacony Creek from Roosevelt Blvd to Friends Hospital in Tacony Creek Park comes from PWD’s  Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) outfall l T-08. While there are 4 other CSO outfalls in this 3/4 mile  stretch of Tacony Creek, T-08 is the largest of these 5 outfalls and warrants close examination.

Here is a photo of T-08 outfall, just upstream of Roosevelt Blvd.


This next photo shows  the litter/ trash buildup in woody debris just downstream of Roosevelt Blvd.

Stream trash just downstream of Roosevelt Blvd Bridge - SW side

We can combine the Philadelphia Street Litter Index and PWD drainage area data to help us understand the role of street litter on the Tacony Creek and by extension other City Creeks.

Philadelphia Water Department has developed drainage areas in GIS format so that we can relate drainage areas to specific outfalls.  Using the  free GIS tool  ArcGIS Explorer, I traced the Street Litter Index map data  onto the T-08 drainage area to map the litter conditions upstream of T-08 and to calculate the  average Index for the T-08 drainage area.


This map provides important information to help us better  understand the Tacony Creek trash litter situation below Roosevelt Blvd. Several key points:

  • T-08 drains approximately 1,937 acres.
  • The Street Litter Index for the T-08 drainage area ranges from 1 (Minimal Litter) to 6 (Extremely Littered) and averages 4.
  • T-08 appears to be a major source of the Creek trash in the Roosevelt Blvd – Friends Hospital stretch of Tacony Creek
  • Some of the street litter in Cedarbrook, Ogontz, East & West Oak Land is finding its way to Tacony Creek, through PWD’s stormwater system.
  • Volunteer cleanups can not keep pace with the continual release of street litter from 1,937 acres of land with an average Street Litter Index of 4 (significantly littered) out of 6.

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