Part 1 of 2
Stormwater runoff occurs when an excessive amount of rainfall or melted snow is unable to drain into the ground. Unfortunately, stormwater can negatively affect our water quality, and causes a tremendous amount of damage to surrounding areas in the form of floods. In essence, the runoff water contains sediments that clog streams, reduce the oxygen levels in the water, and even poison the aquatic ecosystems with chemicals. As responsible property owners, we each need to do our part in order to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff that is negatively affecting our environment.
The good news is that there are some fairly simple steps that you can take. The following information will provide you with a few ways to reduce stormwater runoff at your property.
Maintain your catch basins on a regular basis. Catch basins are the primary part of many landscape drainage systems. A catch basin has a grate on top and a drainage pipe that slopes away from the basin. This box is set into the ground at a low point on the property. Catch basins help maintain proper drainage and catch debris, which helps prevent pipes downstream from becoming clogged. Water and solids enter the box through the grate. Solids settle to the bottom while water drains out of the pipe.
This pipe typically connects to the larger local plumbing system and directs the water to a sewage plant or stream. Catch basins are commonly found in homes and businesses and can serve any combination of purposes, including catching, holding and filtering runoff water on your lawn, around your home, off surfaces and from your gutters. Catch basins designed for homes are commonly 1-foot by 1-foot boxes and are sold in home improvement stores. Those used by the public sector are often much bigger and are made of concrete or lined concrete blocks.
They can also be made of polypropylene, in which case they are perforated on the sides and the bottom. When property owners fail to maintain the catch basins on a regular basis they are unable to perform their primary function, which is to drain the stormwater runoff. That is why it is so important to hire a professional company that specializes in catch basin maintenance.
Replace lawn areas with native plants. It may be hard to believe, but lawns are not particularly effective at absorbing and retaining water. This holds especially true during heavy rains. This is an issue not only because more natural precipitation happens to run off of them, but also because they may require a significant amount of irrigation, which in turn can create even more runoff. Native plants, such as shrubs and wildflowers, tend to develop more extensive root systems that take in and hold water a great deal better than lawns.
As an added bonus, they require less maintenance than a lawn does. If you do decide to keep your lawn, though, water it efficiently to conserve water and reduce runoff.
Create a rain garden. A rain garden is a garden, planted in a slight depression in the ground that collects water and allows it to gradually permeate into the soil. Rain gardens come in many sizes and are typically planted at the base of a slope or even at the outlet to a downspout, basically anywhere where water naturally flows or can be directed. In essence, water-loving plants and a base of permeable soil enhanced with fertile loam and a topcoat of mulch allow the rain garden to quickly absorb even large amounts of water, usually in just a few hours.
To Be Continued….
If you have any questions about catch basin maintenance, or would like to schedule service we are happy to help. Jolin Paving & Excavating, Inc. is your New England connection for a vast variety of environmentally related services. Our company has been serving Boston Massachusetts, Southern NH, VT & ME as well as Northern CT & RI since 1952. Please Contact us to learn more today.