Impervious surfaces like roads, roofs, and parking lots cannot soak in the rain like undeveloped forests, prairies, and grass can. Instead, the water “runs off” the impervious surfaces, picks up pollutants, and enters the storm drains which go directly to our creeks and rivers – not the sewer plant! Common pollutants from your home can include pet waste, fertilizer, vehicle fluids, detergents, chemicals, litter and debris. Keeping these pollutants out of stormwater runoff keeps them out of our local waterways and keeps our local creeks and rivers clean.
How You Can Make a Difference and Soak in the Rain
Our partners at the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District say you can do a few things to help soak in the rain and reduce your stormwater runoff and overall environmental footprint:
- Plant Native Plants – Native plants are originally from our area and therefore are well-adapted to our environment and can grow strong, deep root systems. As a result, they can soak in the rain better than non-native plants and use it for their growth. Trees and shrubs especially have big, strong root systems to soak in the rain. Learn how to properly plant a tree (no mulch volcanoes allowed!). After all, April is Ohio and National Native Plant Month.
- Rain Barrels – Utilize a rain barrel to capture rainwater from your roof and downspout system and use it to water your lawn and flower beds. It saves you money on your water bill too!
- Rain Gardens – Rain gardens are shallow garden depressions where the “first flush” of rainwater can be captured and soak into the ground. They can be many shapes, sizes, and appearances, but they all are great at capturing and soaking in rainwater.
- Get Grassy – Grow healthy, resilient grass with strong root systems to encourage water to soak into your lawn. Learn more about how to grow a healthy lawn.
- Permeable Pavement – Redoing your driveway or patio? Consider using permeable pavement or pavers! Learn more about how they work.
Remember, only rain should go down the drain!