Impervious ground cover such as concrete and asphalt prevent rain and snowmelt from naturally soaking into the ground. Instead the water eventually makes its way to a storm drain, and can end up in a nearby stream or waterbody. There are many types of alternative paving options which allow water to pass through and be absorbed by the soil below. This naturally filters many pollutants that would otherwise make their way into a clean water source.
Permeable concretes allow water to pass through to the soil below.
Some permeable pavements do not use conventional materials like concrete. Some can even be filled with gravel or covered with grass after installation.
Installation of a paving grid.
Paving grid filled and covered with grass.
Other permeable pavements can be decorative and still function just as well.
Rain barrels allow stormwater runoff to be collected and reused. Not only do they prevent water from entering the stormwater system, but they save homeowners money on their water bills by providing free fresh water for irrigation and other needs.
Rain barrels consist of a number of basic parts. There are many instructions that can be found on the internet relating to building your own rain barrel.
Feel free to get creative with the design and decoration of your rain barrel. Consider painting the outside, or even using decorative rocks on top to keep mosquitos out.
Rain Gardens & Grassy Swales
Rain Gardens are specially designed areas whose purpose is to catch and drain excess stormwater. Vegetation usually consists of water absorbing sedges, rushes, ferns, shrubs and trees, that thrive in conditions similar to wetlands. Every drop collected is either released back into the atmosphere, or is filtered on its way down into the water table, improving overall water quality.