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   Water Quality (click the "?" or highlighted text for more information)


      Did you know...


... a watershed is an area of land in which water from rain or snow drains into a body of water that is often used as drinking water supply?


... residents of 19131 are served by the Lower Schuylkill River watershed, while 19151 is served by the Darby & Cobb’s creeks watershed?


... the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a federal agency designed to protect residents of the U.S. from environmental hazards?


... the Urban Waters Federal Partnership strives to reconnect urban communities with their waterways to improve U.S. water systems?


... the Safe Drinking Water Act establishes minimum standards to protect current or potential sources of drinking water above and underground?


... everything you pour into your water pipes impacts the quality of your water?


... as of 2013 the water quality was rated 47, 60, and 67 out of 100, with 100 meaning best water quality, in zip codes 19151, 19131, and 19139, respectively?


... to improve water quality patrons living in the 19151 zip code should dispose of household and hazardous wastes properly?


... storm water, or surface runoff from rain and snow that is not absorbed by the ground, can affect water quality?


... littering directly effects the quality of your water?


... if the entire population of Philadelphia picked up 1 piece of litter on the street a day, there would be more than 10.5 million less pieces of trash on our streets within 1 week?


... impervious surface’s effect our wastewater treatment facilities?


... interested citizens can receive training about water protection using EPA resources?


... 60% of Philadelphia is served by combined sewer systems, or systems where wastewater from homes and storm water are collected through the same sewer system?


... combined sewer systems can cause watershed problems when an overload of wastewater is collected so that excess must be discharged into surrounding streams, in what is called Combined Sewer Overflow?


... you can decrease watershed problems and increase water quality by reducing your water usage at home?


... turning off the water while brushing your teeth can save up to 8 gallons of water a day?       That is $10 dollars a year!


... if you shorten your shower by just four minutes you can save 10 gallons of water and up to $12 a year per shower?


... you can decrease watershed problems and increase water quality by creating more pervious surfaces, to reduce storm water runoff into the sewer system?


... you can collect water through gardens, basins and barrels, to effectively reduce storm water runoff?


... the Philadelphia Water Department and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society offer free rain barrel workshops to residents?


... by using one 55-gallon rain barrel to collect rain water to be used weekly between mid-April and mid-October, you could save up to 1300 gallons of water over one summer season?


... reducing your water consumption at home will not only improve water quality and conserve fresh water reserves but will also lower your water bill each month?


... flushing medicines down the toilet or sink can cause water pollution, harming water quality and wildlife? To properly dispose of medicines, place pharmaceuticals in a sealed container with an undesirable item (kitty litter, coffee grounds, etc.) and dispose of normally through the trash.


... you can better protect your home from flooding by joining PWD's Basement Protection Program?


... the average Philadelphian uses 87 gallons of water a day, so that, 471,000,000 gallons of waste and storm water are processed a day in Philadelphia?


Click Me for More Information on Water Quality!  


    Domestic Toxins (click the "?" or highlighted text for more information)


Did you know...


... a substance is toxic when it is harmful to the environment and to human health if inhaled, swallowed, or absorbed through the skin?


... the labels Danger, Warning, and Caution have specific meanings?

   Did you know?

      Danger means a product can be harmful or fatal if swallowed in that only a taste to a              teaspoonful taken by mouth can kill an average sized adult.

      Warning means the product can be harmful if swallowed in that only a teaspoonful to              an ounce taken by mouth can kill an average sized adult.

      Caution means the product can be harmful if swallowed in that only an ounce to over a            pint taken by mouth can kill an average sized adult.


... 1-800-222-1222 is the Poison Control Center Hotline to be used in case of household chemical exposure?


... many common household products, such as anti-bacterial cleaners, laundry detergents and polishes, are considered hazardous?


... formaldehyde, a highly toxic volatile organic compound that causes cancer, is one of the four main ingredients in most air-fresheners?


... compact fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury and require special clean-up if broken?


... mercury accumulates up the food chain, particularly in seafood, and you should always check EPA and FDA fish advisories before consumption?


... you should never mix bleach with ammonia because it causes fumes that can be deadly?


... to protect yourself while using hazardous substances you should wear proper clothing and safety attire, including rubber gloves and an R95 Household Cleaner Odor Respirator?


... you can make your own, less-harmful and natural cleaning products?


... lead is a toxic metal that is commonly found in paint in homes built prior to 1978?


... children under the age of six are most at risk from lead exposure?


... that concentrations of volatile organic compounds, a group of chemicals associated with human health impacts, are 2-5 times higher indoors than outdoors? They easily evaporate at room temperature and can negatively affect human health depending on exposure.


... short term exposure to volatile organic compounds can cause increased risk for eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, dizziness and worsened asthma while long-term exposure increases your risk for cancer, liver damage, kidney damage and central nervous system damage?


... water-based or “latex” paints emit fewer chemicals and lower levels of chemical vapor than “alkyd” or oil-based paints, and you should always vent and avoid freshly painted rooms for 2-3 days after painting to avoid exposure to dangerous fumes?


... taking off your shoes at the front door can reduce household exposure to almost all types of hazardous chemicals?


... there is evidence that links indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, coughing and wheezing in otherwise healthy people? 


... exposure to cockroach allergens is the single major factor contributing to asthma in urban-dwelling children living in the north-eastern U.S.?


... integrated pest management plans, as opposed to only pesticide use, is the safest, most effective form of managing pests?


... the most effective way to deal with mice and pests is to set snap-traps around your home and check them regularly?


... to manage cockroaches without chemicals you can begin by using sticky-traps?

Public Health

    Public Health (click the "?" or highlighted text for more information)



    Did you know...


... as of 2013, the current air quality for zip codes 19131, 19139, 19151 is 86 on a scale of 100, in which the higher up on the scale the better the air quality? This is lower than the overall air quality for the United States, which has an air quality of 93.9 out of 100.


... keeping your tires filled to the recommended air pressure can save you up to 5% on gasoline expenses and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 275 pounds per year?


... biking and using public transportation reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and reduce carbon dioxide emissions?


... asthma is an inflammatory disease where there is a temporary narrowing of the airways that transport air from the nose and mouth to the lungs?


... asthma can be triggered by a wide range of substances called allergens?


... the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states there are currently 18.7 million adults and 6.8 million children with asthma and that asthma currently has 1.1 deaths per 100,000 population?


... tobacco smoke is a mixture of gases and particles, containing more than 7,000 chemical compounds, 70 of which can cause cancer?


... there is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke?


... in the U.S., secondhand smoke is responsible for approximately 7,500–15,000 hospitalizations of children under the age of 18 months every year?


... nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke have an increased risk for heart disease and lung cancer by 20–30%?


... mold can grow in damp areas in your house, such as bathrooms or basements and can cause health problems?


... you can get rewarded for residential recycling in Philadelphia? For more information visit Philadelphia Recycling Rewards


... ground level ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react together in the air and can cause eye irritation, headaches, coughing, impaired lung function and eye, nose, and throat irritation, with asthmatics and children are most at risk? To reduce ground-level ozone levels you can reduce automobile usage and use water-based paints.


... the website provides daily air quality reports?


... an Air Quality Action Day is called when the Air Quality Index forecasts an unhealthy or code orange level of pollution in the air? To sign up for alerts of action days visit


... the Environmental Protection Agency offers the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program so you can learn about toxic chemicals released in your community?


...every year in Pennsylavania smog pollution results in 7,000 hospital admissions for people with respiratory disease and soot pollution causes 4,000 admissions for people with cardio vascular disease?


... in Philadelphia, 16,000 children visit emergency rooms each year due to asthma?


... 36,000 kids miss school due to asthma per school day in the United States?      


... you can reduce risk for diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer by maintaining a healthy diet, doing regular physical activity, living a tobacco free life and using alcohol safely?


... you can maintain a healthy weight by choose foods that are filling, but with low calories such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans? You can also avoid snack foods, fast foods, and sugary drinks, watch your portion sizes and make physical activity a part of your daily life.


... to create a healthy plate you should eat 5 or more servings of vegetables and fruits each day, increase whole grains, get calcium, and choose healthy sources of protein?

    Some easy changes are to:

a) Include vegetables and fruits at every meal and for snacks; choose whole fruit over juice; choose 100% juice if you drink juice

b) Replace white bread with whole grain bread; replace white rice with brown rice; replace cornflakes with whole grain cereal or oatmeal

c) Use Fat Free or Lowfat Milk and Yogurt; Limit amount of cheese

d) Limit red meat - choose fish and poultry instead of red meat; make every other day meat free by using beans and eggs; limit intake of processed meats - ham, bacon, hot dogs, lunchmeat


... your body needs at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day because regular physical activity can improve blood pressure and cholesterol, lower risk of developing chronic disease, help you lose weight and keep weight off?

     Some easy ways to exercise are to:

- Use stairs rather than an elevator

- Walk to your destination, or get off of the train or bus on stop early and walk.

- Wear a pedometer every day and aim for 10,000 steps per day.

- Use a stationary bicycle or treadmill while watching TV.

- Walking is one of the easiest ways to become healthy and active.

- Strength training improves balance and strength.

- Many strength-training exercises can be done in your home. Some examples of strength          training exercises include: lifting weights, stretch band, leg lifts, sit-ups, push-ups.

- Stretching improves flexibility and reduces lower back pain


... quitting tobacco use will allow you to cough less, have less heartburn and indigestion, have an increase in energy level, have whiter teeth, fresh smelling clothes, and have more spending money?


... the Body Mass Index (BMI) is calculated from a person’s body weight to height and can be used to measure total body fat and indicate if a person is in a healthy weight range?


... that your blood pressure is important to be checked regularly because high blood pressure, called the “silent killer”, raises your risk for heart disease and stroke? You can lower your blood pressure by reducing your intake of salt.


... high blood glucose (blood sugar) levels can damage your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and blood vessels? If you have diabetes, testing your blood sugar is a crucial part of understanding your levels.


... the A1C test measures the percent of your red blood cells that are coated with sugar, where a high A1C reading indicates poor control of blood sugar over time? It is important to get your blood sugar under control to prevent the complications of diabetes.


... blood cholesterol is a fat-like substance that your body needs in order to work properly with two types: (1) HDL (good cholesterol) and (2) LDL (bad cholesterol) and that having high blood cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease?


... immunizations given during doctor’s visits are very important for children ranging from newborn to 6 years old to protect them from contracting vaccine-preventable disease?


... youth, ages 7-18, may need additional vaccinations, sometimes called boosters, because protection from childhood vaccines lose their effectiveness as children get older?


... adults (18+) may need additional vaccines because a loss of effectiveness, the introduction of new vaccines, missing vaccinations, travel, and more risk of serious disease stemming from common infections?


... important health screening tests you should have regularly include blood pressure, cholesterol, Diabetes, Colorectal cancer, Osteoporosis, Breast cancer and cervical cancer(for women), Prostate cancer (for men)?


    Overbrook Environmental Education Center

      (click the "?" or highlighted text for more information)


Did you know...


... the Overbrook Education Center (OEC) is a community based technology and literacy center created by the non-profit organization JASTECH Development Services INC?


... the Overbrook Education Center aims to serve the residents of 19131, 19151, 19139 zip codes?


...the Overbrook Education Center is dedicated to environmental education, conservation, art, public health, and personal enrichment?


... the OEC offers field exploration, classroom training and public education in the urban environment through the Overbrook (EEC)’s education curriculum and current local projects/campaigns?


... the OEC is currently working on many projects to benefit the greater Overbrook community?


... the OEC was built on a prior brownfield site?


... as a non-profit OEC welcomes volunteers to get involved and/or donations?


... you can become a member of the Overbrook Education Center?

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