Soaking up the Rain in the Watershed

There are many simple ways to prevent stormwater runoff from polluting our local waterways.

NepRWA table at flower show

Promoting “Soak up the Rain” projects at Boston Flower Show.

NepRWA attended the Boston Flower and Garden Show at the Seaport World Trade Center on Friday March 13th, and while it didn’t feel like spring outside, the garden displays inside provided a refreshing change of pace from the long, record-breaking, snowy winter of 2015.

We were invited to the Flower Show by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who had asked us to share a table and provide information to attendees about simple projects to help “Soak up the Rain”.

Why Soak up the Rain?

We are surrounded by acres of pavement, concrete and “impervious surfaces.”  It’s everywhere—on our roadways, parking lots, playgrounds, and rooftops.

When rain falls on these hard surfaces, it carries pollutants such as bacteria, fertilizers, oil, litter and grass clippings into storm drains, which lead to our local waterways—impacting the health of the water that we rely on for drinking and recreation.  We call this dirty, untreated water polluted stormwater runoff.

Soaking up the rain where it falls helps to prevent contaminated runoff from making it to our waterways, and many projects can be easily worked into existing landscaping to reduce flooding, keep polluted runoff from our waterways, and enhance residential properties.

Learn more about the EPA’s New England campaign to Soak up the Rain on their website.

rain garden from web 2

Rain gardens are a simple and beautiful way to keep our waterways clean. Photo credit Rain Dog Designs, Gig Harbor, WA

Simple and inexpensive projects include rain gardens, rain barrels, dry wells, redirecting runoff, and pervious pavement.

You can learn more about implementing these techniques here, from our page about the current Soak up the Rain Campaign in Westwood.

Now that spring is finally here and many of us are thinking about gardening, take a look at where rain water flows in your yard as you’re planting and moving soil. Adding just a few simple “Soak up the Rain” projects will prevent runoff, and help to protect the health and cleanliness of the Neponset River and its tributaries.

Sarah Bounty, Environmental Engineer March 26, 2015

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