Copyright © 1997-2009 Demand Media. All rights reserved.
Location: Acton, Ca
Posted: Apr/04/2009 2:06 PM PST
Just read about Rain Gardens ("Bioretention Pond"). Didn't know where to post it (mods can move it, if it doesn't belong here. ). Thought some of you might want to know about rain gardens also.
With changing federal laws governing water quality, many municipalities are enacting storm water management plans that require homeowners to disconnect their downspouts from the municipal sewage system. The most self-evident ways to deal with this water are to recycle it somehow, evaporate it, or infiltrate it into the soil. The procedures developed to handle storm water vary dramatically from community to community – catch basins, infiltration systems, and open ditches. Whatever method is chosen, it is more easily accomplished on a small scale than large. Many homeowners are opting for infiltration in the form of “rain gardens.” Anyone who has ever put shovel to soil knows that infiltration is most easily accomplished on sandy soil and almost impossible on clay soil.
The concept behind a rain garden is quite straightforward: it is designed with a central depression to retain rainwater runoff and give it time to seep into the soil. This infiltration helps recharge groundwater and protects local water quality by reducing polluted runoff. Rain gardens can feature hardy native plant species that thrive without fertilizers and pesticides. These native plants also have elaborate root systems that create channels into the soil causing it to more readily absorb water.
The traditional turf-style lawn creates an impervious surface, and standard turf-care practices often have a higher environmental impact than the limited care required for native plants. Your rain garden will also attract new friends. Not only will neighbors admire the vibrant health of a well-designed garden, but also birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects will find your yard more interesting than any mowed grass lawn.
More info. "What About My Soil?, Soil Replacement, Size and Slope, Plant Selection, Wildflowers, Grasses, Native Plant Landscaping, Mosquito Concerns" at site http://www.for-wild.org/download/rainclay/rainclay .html