Rain garden is a shallow depression that is planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses. The garden should be positioned near a runoff source like a downspout, driveway or sump pump to capture rainwater runoff and stop the water from reaching the sewer system. By installing a rain garden on your property or even using the principles of a rain garden in your landscaping, you can greatly increase your contribution to preserving clean rainwater, creating habitat and preventing local flooding and water pollution.
Other Benefits include:
- Reduce or eliminate the need to water with municipal water
- Reduce garden maintenance
- Increase garden enjoyment
- Sustainability and urban enhancement
- Enhance sidewalk appeal
Preserving Clean Rain Water
Next rainy day look at the movement of the rainwater that falls on your property. Look at the flow of the water, where it pools and where it flows off your property to the sewer or local rivers. Doing this will help you determine the best place for your rain garden.
- By collecting that clean rainwater in your rain garden's shallow depression you will make a contribution to preserving and conserving rainwater. Instead of sending clean rainwater to the sewer the water can then be soaked into the ground and possibly even help to recharge local groundwater systems.
- Diverting large quantities of stormwater after our even larger rainfalls to a safe location and not into your basement can help reduce potential home flooding.
- If our county suffers from a dry or a drought situation your garden will support itself. The deep roots of the plants will reach down toward the water in the soil that is not near the surface.
One of the three requirements for a properly installed rain garden is the use of the deep-rooted plants that are native to Adams County.
- Adapt to our soil, climate and wildlife
- They are often sturdy and colorful - attracting insects to their nectar and birds to their seeds
- They help improve the survival of bees, butterflies and local and migrating birds
Prevent Local Flooding and Pollution
Rain gardens are a form of "bioretention" system. You can see large version of these systems in the parking lots of nature centers and state parks. These human-made systems temporarily store rainwater and runoff and clean the water of hydrocarbons, oil, heavy metals, phosphorous, fertilizers and other pollutants that would normally find their way to the sewer and perhaps our rivers and waterways.
Localized rain gardens do much the same thing. Relatively clean rainwater might flow across your roof, driveway or chemically treated lawn and pick up pollutants. Instead of moving these pollutants to the street the rain garden will intercept and naturally clean and infiltrate the water. In some area this reduces large quantities of water and contaminants from reaching the treatment plant and in others locals it prevents stormwater from running directly into rivers and streams.
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