Save our streams – capture your stormwater!
Roofs and parking lots contribute to the pollution of our waterways.
You can help by keeping the water on your own property!
Rapid rainwater runoff from impervious surfaces such as roofs, sidewalks and parking lots has been scouring our streambeds, eroding the banks, killing the aquatic life and the surrounding vegetation, and carrying sediment to the Chesapeake Bay where it smothers the aquatic grasses that are the basis of that ecosystem.
Do your part - hold onto your water!
Where appropriate, an easy first step is to disconnect downspouts from pipes that convey water off the property, allowing the water to discharge over the lawn or landscaping.
Also known as “bayscaping,” conservation landscaping means converting lawn to plantings using native species. The compacted soil of lawn grass does little to absorb runoff. By contrast, native species have deeper root systems which increase infiltration and clean the water. Since they need no fertilizers or pesticides, they do not contribute to pollutants in our waterways. A buffer of native plantings downhill from your downspouts can capture significant amounts of stormwater before it leaves the property. A very short berm on the downhill side will help.
The term “rain garden” refers to an area that has been deeply excavated and filled in with more permeable soil, then planted with native plants that tolerate both flooding and drought. Not all properties have soil that is suitable for a rain garden. You will need to do a perc test first.
Step-by-step instructions on creating rain gardens.
Building a rain garden that is engineered to capture all your water may be an expensive proposition. It is worth checking to see if you could be eligible for a matching grant. But even a do-it-yourself version may do a pretty good job, as pictured below.
The picture plantings are new, but when they mature, their roots will absorb runoff. Note that the bed is slightly depressed.
Soak It Up!
Excellent three part webinar
Part I: Introduction
Part II: Overview, Dry Well, Infiltration Trench, Swales
Part III: Conservation Landscaping, Rain Gardens, Permeable Pavers, Rain Barrels