A Rain Garden is…

A Rain Garden can be your contribution to solving local water pollution issues and localized flooding. By building a rain garden and positioning it correctly in your yard you are taking responsibility for the

A rain garden is a small space

A rain garden in a small space

clean rainwater that falls on your property.  By stopping that rainwater from picking up oils and sediment from driveways and lawns you have increased the likelihood that the rainwater soaking into the ground is clean.

By reducing the quantity of the contaminated rainwater or stormwater from reaching the street, sewer or even direct contact with rivers or waterways you are performing a personal solution to water conservation and pollution reduction.

I’m sure you are thinking that the stormwater is supposed to get to the sewer system. Well, when these

systems were first created that was the case. But as cities and towns have increased in size the amount of hard or impervious increased there were more and more instances of sewer backups and overflows.

Overflows happen when untreated sewage is released from the sanitary plants  into local

Municipal rain garden planted in Chicago

Municipal rain garden planted in Chicago

waterways. This tends to happen when heavy rains cause a large amount of stormwater in the sewer system to back up in the sanitary plants and forces flood gates to open.

Sewer backups in homes often happens at the same time. If the sanitation plant holds the stormwater too long without opening the flood gates the water builds up and flows backwards to basements sewers and bathroom facilities.

If each household held back a percentage of the rainwater that fell on their property it would go a long way to reducing overflows and back up. Rain gardens are particularly helpful in this case because of the amount of water they can hold.

Although rain barrels are a great idea they generally only hold 50 – 75 gallons of water where a rain garden can hold and infiltrate into the ground hundreds  and (if large enough) thousands of gallons of water.

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