Managing Stormwater at Home
Stormwater management is not just a concern to builders, developers and local governments. It's important for the individual property owner as well
- Try as often as practical to allow water to be absorbed by soil and vegetation. This is important even in modest-sized yards. Build grass-covered drainage swales, plant rain gardens in drainage depressions, try a rain barrel on one of your downspouts, or look for water loving plants to minimize runoff.
- If you must pipe the water somewhere, do not put it into your sanitary sewer line. Many local sewer systems become overloaded during precipitation events because of downspout and drain connections that go into the sanitary sewer. Most are now engaged in efforts to remove that rain water from their systems wherever possible.
- Try to preserve or add as many trees and other vegetation as possible on your property. They absorb rainwater, slow runoff and erosion and moderate the temperature. Don’t ever allow bare soil to remain unvegetated for very long. You’ll lose good topsoil on top of accelerating runoff.
- Get involved, even if in a small way, in encouraging local government to establish high standards for developers. Parking lots should not be endless expanses of pavement and all building should be planned with stormwater management in mind. Waterways should be left as much as possible in their natural state. When areas around streams must be disturbed, vegetative buffers should be required.
Many websites expand upon the helpful hints above. Locally, you can start by visiting the Blair County Conservation District's website - www.blairconservationdistrict.org.