Use Landscaping to Address Storm Water Run-off

Part of our quarterly Storm Water Series by Todd Sattison, WPC Program Coordinator

There are a surprising number of resourceful and beautiful landscape methods to handle the problem of storm water. Not only can excess residential storm water be removed via a system of drains and runoffs, there has recently been a growing desire for alternative options that offer a more natural, ecologically friendly water disposal method.

Here are some innovative ideas that could be implemented in your yard for storm water control for landscaping:

  • Permeable Pavement: Traditional concrete and asphalt don’t allow water to soak into the ground. Instead, these surfaces rely on storm drains to divert unwanted water. Permeable pavement systems allow rain and snowmelt to soak through, decreasing storm water runoff.
  • Rain Barrels: You can collect rainwater from rooftops in mosquito-proof containers. The water can be used later on lawn or garden areas.
  • Rain Gardens and Grassy Swales: Specifically designed areas planted with native plants can provide natural places for rainwater to collect and soak into the ground. Rain from rooftop areas or paved areas can be diverted into these areas rather than into storm drains.
  • Vegetated Filter Strips: Filter strips are areas of native grass or plants created along roadways or streams. They trap the pollutants storm water picks up as it flows across driveways and streets.
  • Sump Pumps: Please remember that all household ground water sump pumps should be directed to the house landscaping and not directed to sanitary sewers.

Information contained in this educational article was obtained from the USEPA storm water web site www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater. For additional information regarding your local storm water issues, please contact Todd Sattison, Program Coordinator at the City of Auburn Water Pollution Control, at 260-925-1714.