RAIN GARDEN: Preventing Flash Flood

By: organicfarmingblog , 8:29 AM GMT on May 09, 2014

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raingardenpix3 300x199 RAIN GARDEN: Preventing Flash Flood

Photo by: http://www.monticello.org/sites/default/files/uplo aded-content-images/Lily.2.jpg


The ground does not absorb water overflow from house and building roofs including pavements and roads resulting to stress on the stormwater system, flash flooding and erosion. It also causes a long term loss of stream flow and lowering of groundwater tables. Garden and lawn are not getting the benefits of rain water.

One solution is by creating a rain garden. This garden system imitates water retention the natural way. The idea was conceived in the 1990s by a land developer who was working on a housing subdivision at Prince George’s county, Maryland. The process is to dig a surface depression in order to capture and soak up stormwater overflow from the roof, walkways, driveway. It is then planted with suitable shrubs, flowers, trees and other wetland vegetation which will absorb and saturate water into the ground. This will also protect water quality and add beauty to the community.

Rain Garden also offers other benefits like filtering of pollutants, reducing the need for irrigation, providing homes for wildlife. The plants will attract an assortment of butterflies and birds. It also gives an alternative to traditional gardening and it is very easy to maintain once properly set up.

When creating a rain garden, one should take time to assess the area as it is important to pick the right location. The garden must not be near a water supply or the septic system. It should not be very close to your house so that the water will not leach into the foundation. The garden should be built directly under the sun and not in covered areas or under a large tree. Remember that evaporation also plays an important role in this system. Pooling of water in the rain garden should only last for several hours right after the rainfall so as not to attract mosquitos and turn it into a breeding ground.

Equally important is selecting the right kind of plant. It should be able to tolerate both short period dry and soaking soil. To make the rain garden effective, use plants with large roots. The plant should also be non-invasive. It is best to use plants that already have a developed root system to keep the soil from eroding. The native species are the best choice which is very adaptable to such conditions. For the first year, regular watering may be needed during the dry period as the plants start to develop and establish itself.

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