Capturing rain where it falls can help restore the natural hydrologic cycle. Green roofs, rain barrels, rain gardens and permeable pavement all mimic nature by allowing water to infiltrate the ground or evaporate. Rain barrels connect to your downspouts, collecting rain water that can be used to irrigate your garden, and reducing the amount of treated water needed for lawns and gardens. A rain garden is a depression planted with native plants whose deep roots absorb water and filter out pollutants. Permeable pavement allows water to slowly seep into the ground, and can be seen in action at Ryerson Woods and places listed here.
During a storm, water runs off driveways, streets, paved surfaces, and even compacted lawns, contributing to erosion and depositing pollutants into our waterways. According to the U.S. EPA, stormwater pollution is our most common cause of water pollution. Lake County will be selling rain barrels, compost bins and native plants on May 7 at Independence Grove. Consider trying one of these simple techniques to decrease stormwater pollution — it could mean the difference between a storm causing flooding or not.