On Nov. 20, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) named Stanley’s True Value Hardware its first Stormwater Pioneer. Third generation small business owners Mark and Joe Jaconski were recognized as role models for business owners and private developers who want to reduce stormwater runoff from their properties. The stormwater design team, Ruggiero Plante Land Design, was also recognized by PWD.

Stormwater Pioneers is a new program to recognize business owners for runoff and stormwater pollution reduction efforts. The program showcases dedication, innovation, excellence, and the ability to overcome technical challenges by property owners, developers, engineers, and designers.

In 2010, the Jaconskis embarked on a plan to replace their decades-old store on the same site. Keeping the store open while constructing a building three times the size of the original all on one acre was a challenge. Additional challenges included working around bedrock and utilities at various locations and protecting a neighboring property.

The site design by Ruggiero Plante Land Design includes two underground infiltration basins that capture runoff and store it for slow release. Above ground, a rain garden contains 61 centimeters (24 in) of a special soil mix that promotes infiltration and plant growth. On one side, the rain garden has an impermeable liner to prevent moisture from damaging a neighboring home. A 7-phase staging allowed construction to surround the existing store and keep it open until a new one was ready.

“Customers and neighbors really admire the rain garden, and every chance we get, we tell them how it’s part of the overall plan to reduce stormwater on our site,” says Mark Jaconski. Read more.