written by Natalie Whitaker, summer 2020 co-op student
In today’s society, stormwater management has become a more prevalent topic of conversation. As urban growth continues to increase at a rapid pace, more and more natural land gets developed, creating an abundance of impermeable surfaces for rainwater runoff. This runoff can carry pollutants such as pet poop, fertilizers, and pesticides that eventually make its way into our water supply.
One way we can help mitigate the effects of this excess runoff at home is by creating your own rain garden. Rain gardens have a depressed garden bed. This allows for more rainwater and stormwater to collect in the garden bed since it is deeper than other garden beds. The plants in the garden can then absorb the water. Any water remaining can return to the groundwater supply cleaner than it was previously due to the way plants and soil naturally filter water.
Another way to help reduce stormwater runoff at your home is by using a rain barrel. Rain barrels can be placed at the outlet of the gutters on your home where they will collect water that runs off your roof. You can then attach a hose to the outlet of the rain barrel and use the water that collects in it to water plants in an existing garden during dry weather.