Tag Archives: Tookany Creek

Monitoring PWD’s Rock Creek CSO T-01

PWD’s CSOCast web page (link) provides recent information on the flow discharge status of PWD’s CSO discharges as well as rainfall information for PWD’s rain gauges.

This screen grab shows the status information displayed at 7:00 AM on 11/27/13. Notice that pinkish colored box, this data field tells the timing of the latest data update, in this screen shot it was 1:17 PM on 11/26/13.


I will be updating this screen shot over the course of 11/27/13 to monitor the impact of the 11/26-11/27/13 storm on PWD’s T-01 CSO.

Here is the 2nd CSOCast report, updated by PWD through 9:02 AM on 11/27.  Notice the status of Rock Creek T-01 CSO, no information is provided in this update.CSOCast_2

Here is the 3rd CSOCast report, updated by PWD through 12:07 PM on 11/27.  Notice the status of Rock Creek T-01 CSO  now has the  yellow overflow within past 24 hour designation..


Here is the 4th CSOCast report, updated by PWD through 5:55 PM on 11/27.


Here are the hourly rain gauge readings at Philadelphia International Airport:

Date-Time Rain (In/hr)
11/26/13 5:00 PM 0.02
11/26/13 6:00 PM 0.02
11/26/13 7:00 PM 0.03
11/26/13 8:00 PM 0.03
11/26/13 9:00 PM 0.03
11/26/13 10:00 PM 0.03
11/26/13 11:00 PM 0.05
11/27/13 12:00 AM 0.05
11/27/13 1:00 AM 0.06
11/27/13 2:00 AM 0.11
11/27/13 3:00 AM 0.13
11/27/13 4:00 AM 0.13
11/27/13 5:00 AM 0.34
11/27/13 6:00 AM 0.15

This is link to Pa State Climatologist’s web page of hourly precipitation at PHL Airport.

Here is a chart of Tookany Creek Flow at Adams Ave:

The flow increased from 8 cubic feet per second (cfs) at 6:00 PM on Tuesday (11/26) to a peak of 1,420 cfs at 5:00 AM on Wednesday (11/27). It then started to gradually return to pre-storm flow levels.

Why Does Tookany – Tacony Creek Have So Much Litter?

What is it about the Tookany – Tacony Creek that causes the Creek litter in the Tacony to be so much worse than it is in the Wissahickon or  Pennypack Creeks? Excessive street litter by Philadelphia residents, inadequate street cleaning by the Streets Department, inadequate floatables control by PWD are similar through out Philadelphia. 

PWD’s Tookany – Tacony Creek Sewer System Configuration

The way PWD’s Tookany – Tacony Creek sewer system is configured causes large quantities of littered stormwater to be discharged at just a few outfalls along the Creek rather than many points along the tributaries to the Creek. This stormwater consolidation to just a few outfalls causes an excessive litter load to be dumped at a few points.This results in unsanitary, unsightly conditions that are unfair to the Tookany – Tacony Creek neighbors who happen to live near the PWD outfall or visit the Tacony Creek Park in the Friends Hospital area.

Let’s take a look at the location of PWD’s Tookany – Tacony Creek outfalls and the results of my creek trash photo surveys in the map below: (Click image to enlarge)


There is a relationship between the PWD outfall locations and the location of Tookany – Tacony Creek segments with excessive creek trash conditions. 3 segments have particularly bad  creek trash conditions:

  1. Rock Creek below PWD’s T-01 CSO
  2. Mill Run below PWD’s T-088-01 MS4 outfall
  3. Tacony Creek from Roosevelt Blvd to Friends Hospital – below PWD’s T-08 CSO

Let’s take a look at the drainage areas for the 3 outfalls s (T-01, T-088-01, T-08) with the worst downstream creek trash condition: (Click image to enlarge)


T-01’s drainage area is approximately 260 acres discharging into the very  small Rock Creek at  one point just south of Route 309 (Ogontz Ave).

T-088-01’s drainage area is approximately 450 acres discharging into the very  small Mill Run creek at one point, just east Cheltenham Ave

T-08’s drainage area is approximately 1,950 acres discharging into Tacony Creek, just north of Roosevelt Blvd. While the Tacony Creek is larger than the Rock Creek and Mill Run segments, the discharge of littered PWD stormwater from such a large area is a major cause of the creek trash problem visible from Roosevelt Blvd to Friends Hospital.

The configuration of PWD’s  sewer system contributes to the Tookany – Tacony Creek Trash problem because it carries littered stormwater flow from large areas to single points discharges along the Creek where the litter is caught along the rough banks and vegetation.

Generic City-wide PWD and Streets Department solutions will not completely solve the Tacony Creek problem. Tookany – Tacony Creek residents and Tacony Creek Park visitors need a Tookany – Tacony Creek Trash Plan need tailored to the specific issues in Tookany – Tacony Creek.

Tookany – Tacony Creek Trash Update: 7/16/13


You can view a PowerPoint slideshow of the update here: update_7_16_13_slide_show

Potential Role of PWD Outfalls in Tookany – Tacony Creek Trash Problem

Have you ever wondered why the Wissahickon Creek is so clan and the Tacony Creek is so dirty?


After conducting numerous field surveys, I’m beginning to understand the Tookany – Tacony Creek trash situation. I’ve found 10 Philadelphia Water Department stormwater outfalls with evidence of  trash in the outfall channel or immediately downstream of the outfall, making hte outfall a suspect for trash discharge to the Tookany – Tacony Creek.

This pdf documents my concerns about the discharge of floatable trash from PWD outfalls:  Potential_role_of_10_outfalls