Low Impact Design (LID) is an emerging trend in stormwater management that is not going away—and landscaping can have a tremendous impact on LID. While it’s something that municipalities are thinking about on a large scale, every single homeowner can have their own little impact with Residential Low Impact Design. With everyone doing their own part in sustainability by using green technologies to retain stormwater on site, it can have an overall big impact on the environment and the health of your community’s waterways.
The drive behind the sustainability movement comes down to keeping water from going into the already overburdened storm sewers. The problem with the storm sewers being overburdened is that they handle both sanitary and rain water. When they overflow, that sewage can wind up in our waterways. But by preventing runoff from your property, you’re doing your part in maintaining the community’s natural resources by keeping excess water out of the storm drains.
This is something that the local government is taking seriously. In fact, The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District invested millions on new green infrastructure projects as part of its Project Clean Lake to reduce sewage overflows into Lake Erie. This is the reason behind a rise in sewer rates. In many parts of the country, there are also monetary incentives and tax breaks for homeowners who implement green technologies such as rainwater gardens, permeable pavers, or rainwater cisterns.
Here is what you should know about each option:
By definition, a rainwater garden is a shallow depression that is planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses and is positioned near a runoff source such as a downspout or a sump pump in order to capture rainwater runoff. This prevents it from entering the sewer system and contributes toward preventing local flooding and water pollution. If you live in a surburban community like Willougby Hills, this can be a great way to get on board with the green design trend.
Using permeable pavers in hardscaping projects can help reduce surface runoff because they allow water to seep through. It can then nourish deep-rooted plants and trees instead of diverting water into storm sewers. These are popular in Pepper Pike where hardscaping projects are prominent.
A cistern is essentially a container that holds liquid—such as water. With a rainwater cistern, the idea is to collect and store rainwater in order to supplement your water supply. While elaborate systems can be designed to then pump that water into your home for everything from bathing to washing clothes, because of the filtration required most homeowners don’t opt for such an elaborate set-up. Instead, this water can conveniently be used for irrigation purposes, drastically cutting down on your watering bill while also preventing excess runoff.
On Top of the Trends
At Exscape Designs, we know that it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and can offer these green technologies as part of your next project. But even just implementing an intelligent landscape design that keeps stormwater runoff in mind can make a big difference. As stewards of the land, we believe in protecting our community’s waterways and want to be part of making a difference, just like you do. Working together, we can have an impact.