What’s Wrong with Rain?

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You may be thinking that there’s nothing wrong with rain, unless of course we’re getting too much, but that’s not what I’m talking about here….  Yes, it is a life-giving precious resource, but it is also a conduit for pollutants that make their way from our lawns, streets and parking lots into our fresh watersheds.

Pollutants such as pesticides, fertilizers, heavy metals, trash, motor oil, brake dust, chemicals and even heat from paved surfaces can wreak havoc on our water supply.  Rainwater travels downhill directly into waterways, or it is captured by storm drains where, most of the time, it goes straight into our rivers and lakes.

So, what can we do to help the situation?

  • Create a rain garden to capture & filter rain water and break down pollutants found in harmful runoff.  Not only do the native plants in the rain garden slow down and reduce the amount of polluted water flowing into our streams, but they look beautiful and provide habitat for birds and butterflies.
  • Garden naturally without the use of herbicides, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.  Natural and organic alternatives can be used instead.  If you use a lawn-care service, choose one that uses natural methods to produce a lush lawn.
  • Pick up litter (plastic bottle caps especially) and dispose of it properly.  These objects end up in our waterways and not only pollute it by leaching chemicals, but are eaten by birds and aquatic animals causing harm and death.
  • Think twice before adding impervious surfaces to your property.  Impervious surfaces, such as conventional asphalt & wet laid concrete driveways, walkways and patios, turn rain water into runoff.  Keep these surfaces to a minimum and opt for greener alternatives, such as pervious concrete/asphalt, permeable pavers, salvaged clay bricks/stone/gravel, wood chips, nutshells and recycled tumbled glass.  Dry laid patios and walkways allow water to be absorbed into the ground and they don’t crack from freeze/thaw conditions like wet laid surfaces.
  • When house hunting, realize that new suburban construction creates a ton of impervious surfaces, from new roads, driveways and sidewalks to such compacted soil around the developed areas that they absorb little water and further contribute to runoff.
  • Reduce your lawn by adding large beds of native plants and trees to aid in rain water infiltration.
  • Add rainbarrels under your downspouts to capture and store those precious raindrops, which can then be used to water your lawn and garden.
  • Consider a green roof for your city flat.  A green roof helps provide stormwater management, along with many other benefits.  Plus it looks great!

photo by Greg Hayter

Tag(s): For Kids, Going Green, The Great Green Outdoors, Water


One Response to “What’s Wrong with Rain?”

  1. Birmingham roofing installation information on October 11th, 2013 2:24 am

    Thank you for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your next write-ups. Thank you once again.

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