How to Manage Stormwater on Your Property

How to Manage Stormwater on Your Property

What is a stormwater management system?

A stormwater management system is a landscaped feature such as a rain garden, a bioswale or a dry rock swale that is installed on your property in order to collect stormwater (rain and melted snow) and runs off your grass, roof, and driveway. This feature absorbs and naturally filters polluted runoff (chemicals that leech from your home, driveway, and walkways), preventing it from entering the storm drain system and eventually, our waterways.

Stormwater management systems complement any home or business and any style of landscape. They can be large or small and can be designed to fit into any shape for your landscape.

Dry Rock Swale - Green Care Services

Why build a stormwater management systems?

Stormwater management systems are not only beautiful and creative, but they are also functional. By installing a stormwater management system, you can help maintain the natural water cycle while protecting local rivers, lakes, fish and drinking water sources.

Stormwater management systems:

  • Limit the amount of water that enters the local storm drain system
  • Reduce the potential for flooding, drainage problems, and stream bank erosion
  • Reduce the number of pollutants that run from our yards and roads straight into our waterways
  • Restore and recharge our groundwater system
  • Are low maintenance. They are planted with beautiful, hardy plants that require little to no watering
  • Attract birds, butterflies and beneficial insects, such as mosquito-consuming dragonflies
  • Complement any style of landscape and enhance the beauty of the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Compared to a patch of lawn, a rain garden allows about 30% more water to soak into the ground!

What’s the problem with stormwater?

Stormwater runoff is the main cause of stream water pollution in Ontario. As stormwater runs over streets, parking lots, and lawns it can pick up and carry many kinds of materials that get washed into storm drains. Storm drains are specialized drainage systems designed to handle an excess of water from flooding or heavy rainfall. They lead directly to the nearest water body. Large objects are screened out, but the water is not filtered and is carried to nearby streams and lakes. This leads to stormwater pollution. Stormwater picks up contaminants including (but not limited to): Leaked oil and gasoline, fertilizers, pesticides, bacteria from pet waste, Road salt, and litter. These pollutants wash into ditches and down storm drains, and end up in local waterways. Stormwater management systems capture and filter stormwater, helping to reduce runoff. While an individual garden may seem like a small thing, collectively they can produce substantial benefits to the community.

Rain Garden

Adding plants to your stormwater management system

Plants in a stormwater management system need to tolerate both wet and dry conditions. This is because stormwater management systems experience alternate flooding (following a large rainstorm) and drought (during periods of low rainfall). Any combination of flowers, shrubs, grasses or ferns that meet these criteria will do well in a stormwater management system. Native plants are always recommended because they are well suited to local growing conditions, and support local wildlife including birds and butterflies.

The benefits of a stormwater management system

When Green Care Services installs a stormwater management system on your property, you are creating a beautiful, low maintenance landscape for your home that provides a safer environment for your home’s foundation as well as safety for people along walkways and driveways. You are also helping to keep your lakes and rivers clean by keeping pollutants out of storm drains. It’s a win-win-win scenario. So what are you waiting for? Call us today for a consultation.

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