Homeowner's Guide

Tips for Reducing Stormwater Runoff

The key to successfully managing stormwater runoff is to slow the flow of water across your property. We've put together a list of changes a homeowner can make that can add to your enjoyment of your property while improving the watershed and helping to alleviate flooding.


1) PLANT A TREE. It's hard to overestimate how much of a difference one tree can make. Trees hold rain on their leaves, store water in their root systems, and reduce erosion by slowing the flow of water.
Quoting the website treebenefits.com, here's a list of a few common neighborhood trees and the contributions they make.

  • A mature dogwood intercepts 466 gallons of water/

                        year and reduces 772 pounds of carbon dioxide.

  • A mature pin oak - 2227 gallons of water and 1260  

                        pounds of carbon dioxide.

  • A mature river birch - 998 gallons of water and 589  

                        pounds of carbon dioxide.

  • A mature willow - 1135 gallons of water and 635  

                        pounds of carbon dioxide.


2) REPLACE some of your lawn with grasses, flowers, shrubs, anything that will increase the ability of the land to absorb water and slow the flow.


3) ADJUST the height of your lawn mower to a minimum of 3".


4) CONSIDER pervious pavers as a replacement for walkways and parking areas. The gaps between the pavers allow for water to infiltrate instead of running off.


5) MAKE SURE your downspout is directed to a lawn or garden area and not at a paved surface. And direct them away from your foundation.


6) USE a rain barrel to collect rainwater as it runs from your roof; use the water for your garden/plants.


7) PLANT a ground cover on steep slopes.


8) BUILD a riparian buffer if you have a stream side property.


This list may seem like it couldn't make a big difference, but the collective efforts of you and your neighbors will improve the watershed and help alleviate flooding. Incorporating even a few changes will make a difference for us all.

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