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STORMWATER PURIFICATION: Rain Garden Treatments

January 21, 2012

Residential Rain Garden

The Chesapeake Bay is the product of a continuous flow of water from its surrounding lands and those lands are graced by creeks, streams and rivers all of which comprise both their unique watersheds and the great Chesapeake Bay Watershed.  So this largest estuary in this nation is both enriched and too often choked with both chemical and biological ingredients that are collected and carried to it from its watery members. Additionally each of those creeks, streams and rivers receive stormwater runoff whenever rain-storms or snow-storms come their way. Before we go further, just in case you are not completely familiar with the terms watershed  and stormwater runoff, let’s take a minute and look at short definitions of both.

According to scientist, geographer, Wesley Powell, a watershed is “that area of land, a bounded hydrologic system, within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course and where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Stormwater runoff is generated when precipitation from rain and snowmelt events flows over land or impervious surfaces and does not percolate into the ground. As the runoff flows over the land or impervious surfaces (paved streets, parking lots, and building rooftops), it accumulates debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants that could adversely affect water quality if the runoff is discharged untreated.” 

The great Chesapeake Bay Watershed comprises 64000 square miles. MAP  Stormwater runoff, as you can see, cascades toward the bay from many, many sources. Local efforts in monitoring and cleaning that stormwater is the critical first step in the process of reducing pollution assaults on Sweet Chessie’s home. For the homeowner and the small business including small farms, rain gardens can be how they effectively and easily take that first step.

Rain gardens  are rich and attractive ways to catch and filter stormwater before it flows into segments of both a local and major watershed. Ultimately, Sweet Chessie’s life is enriched instead of being polluted and degraded.

In one respect rain gardens are acts of dutiful citizens to help protect the environment and to contribute to the cleanliness and safety of our water resources. The most lasting motivation, however, is rooted in love. Wherever we reside we are surrounded by and within the environment. That environment is Earth and without that relationship we would simply not be. So all the caring, loving things we do to care for our Earth enriches not just the planet, but each of us. Creating rain gardens to help clean up stormwater enables us to both beautify and purify our surroundings and in doing that we also help purify and protect watersheds like lovely Chessie. Now who would even consider turning their back on such a lovely lady?

Please see the list of suggested references below to get help and ideas on creating a rain garden for your home, farm or small business. Those beautiful plants and flowers that grow and bloom in that rain garden are grateful hugs from Sweet Chessie. Yep, like we said, its all about love.

A Love-struck Rain Gardener sends and receives hugs to and from Sweet Chessie

SUGGESTED REFERENCES:

Using Rain Gardens to Reduce Runoff EPA (pdf format)

A Beautiful Solution To Water Pollution (Video)

Build Your Own Rain Garden Chesapeake Bay Foundation (pdf format)

Last but not least – Why Your Rain Garden Is So Helpful and Important to Chessie (Video)

IMAGE CREDITS:

Residential Rain Garden (top of page) Maplewood, Minnesota – apwa.net

Rain Gardener – Photo from author’s collection – Susquehanna Riverfront – (c)2010

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. XiNeutrino permalink*
    February 2, 2012 07:28

    Here is another important consideration regarding salvage and use of rainwater. http://tinyurl.com/7c6jgwg I lived in the Caribbean for just under 5 years and down there built in cisterns are mandatory; an excellent method and resource. They even use stormwater runoff from airport runways. Because of square area coverage, this can produce literally millions of gallons of water on an annual basis.

  2. XiNeutrino permalink*
    January 27, 2012 16:49

    Thank you for your comment and ping back. I like your map, excellent depiction of runoff hazards. Glad you have taken the pledge. Thanks again.

Trackbacks

  1. Who cares about our water supply? This was gonna be titled, New Cleaning items coming… | Busy As A Beazer
  2. Rain gardens: a beautiful way to help the environment | Orange County Breeze

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