Morris Leeds Tree Trench

This project, supported by the US Environmental Protection Agency, is focused on monitoring green stormwater infrastructure control sites to evaluate their performance and inform future designs in support of Philadelphia’s Green City, Clean Waters Initiative. One of the Philadelphia Water Department’s commonly utilized green infrastructure designs is the stormwater tree trench, like the one installed at this site.

Stormwater runoff enters the green inlet and flows underground through a perforat-ed distribution pipe into a layer of gravel or stone. The runoff is stored in the empty spaces between the stones, watering the trees and slowly infiltrating into the ground through a bottom layer of sand. The stormwater tree trench benefits our streams and rivers by reducing stormwater flows into the overburdened combined sewer system, while benefiting the community through greening a significant sidewalk area and en-hancing neighborhood aesthetics.


The purpose of the monitoring equipment at this site is to conduct hydrologic and meteorological monitoring of the tree trench. The data collection for this site includes weather conditions, soil moisture within each tree pit, sub-surface ponding within rock bed depth, and subsurface inflow from the green inlets. The research collected from this site will help evaluate, design and validate next generation green infrastructure.


Soil Meters

Equipment within Tree Pits

Soil moisture meters are installed at various depths to measure soil moisture. There are soil moisture sensors in each tree pit to monitor the soil moisture within the soil.


Weather Station

The Vaisala weather station is located on top of the fence .  This weather station measures temperature, humidity, wind speed, direction, barometric pressure, and rainfall. There is also a  pyranometer on top of the fence that is recording the solar radiation.