Have you ever felt like you were wading through a river when walking on your lawn after a rain storm or watering your yard? This is due to water runoff where some of the water is not absorbed by the ground. Water runoff not only drowns your lawn and wastes water, but it also can pick up pollutants such as pesticides, fertilizers, trash, debris, oil, and pet waste. These pollutants ultimately end up in local streams, creeks, rivers, lakes, and the ocean. Here are five techniques that you can use to prevent or slow water runoff in your yard
A rain garden is a great way to help water to slowly collect and gradually soak into the soil. According to the Groundwater Foundation, “Rain gardens are effective in removing up to 90% of nutrients and chemicals and up to 80% of sediments from the rainwater runoff. Compared to a conventional lawn, rain gardens allow for 30% more water to soak into the ground.” Rain Gardens have native, drought tolerant, non invasive vegetation. Native plants have extensive root systems and have long roots that will pull surface water down to be used as ground water. Rain Gardens are planted on a natural slope of your property, remain dry the majority of the time, and then after a rain storm will drain within 12-48 hours.
Adding organic matter to your soil such as compost or mulch will make your soil nutrient rich helping reduce runoff. It’s also important to not leave a lot of soil in your yard exposed. Instead plant vegetation or try covering it with mulch, wood chips or gravel. You could also create a rock bed to direct water away from areas you struggle with.
3. Make your Sprinklers Smart
Sprinklers and rain are not compatible. When you have one you don’t need the other. Rain delay’s on most modern timers are key to making sure you don’t over-water your yard. But it can be hard to remember to set those rain delays. So take the guesswork out of it and upgrade to a smart sprinkler timer, like the B-hyve. No more remembering required. We look at real-time weather updates for your location and set the rain delays automatically. And we’ll adjust your schedule afterwards to take account for the rain that fell. Check out all the smart options today.
4.Rain Barrels, Cisterns, & Dry Wells
If you’re looking to capture water that is draining off of your roof, you could use rain barrels, cisterns, or dry wells. Rain Barrels are a great option if downspouts release water on the driveway or sidewalk. They allow you store the runoff water from the roof that you can then use to water plants in the summer. Cisterns serve the same purpose but can capture about 250 gallons of runoff which means you need more space to have a cistern. If you have limited space then Dry Wells are a better option because they store the water in a container underground. They also have punch-out holes to release the water slowly into the ground but they are a more expensive option.
5.Berms & Swales
One of the least expensive and easiest methods to save water are berms and swales. Berms are rounded slightly raised areas that direct water to swales which are shallow, low depressions in the ground. These methods are ideally used in landscapes where there is a slope in order to slow and capture the water runoff.