Landscaping and Site Management

Some stormwater risks can be controlled by making changes to buildings, paved surfaces, the landscape, and soil surfaces.  

Are there areas of bare soil around your home?
Areas of bare soil often exist in vegetable and flower gardens, on newly seeded lawns, and around construction projects.  Planting grass or other ground covers is the best way to stop erosion.  Putting a straw or chip mulch over gardens or newly seeded areas will slow erosion. 

Can you eliminate paved surfaces or install alternatives?
When you have the choice, consider alternative materials such as gravel or wood chips for walkways rather than impervious materials like concrete or blacktop.  Where you need a more solid surface, consider using a “porous pavement” made from interlocking cement blocks or rubber mats.

Is your basement protected from stormwater seepage or flooding?
Basement windows or doors are common stormwater entry points and should be sealed against leaks.  If windows are at or below ground level, they can be protected with clear plastic covers available in building supply stores.  Window wells that extend above ground level can help divert stormwater.  Your yard should be sloped away from the foundation to prevent water from pooling near the house and leaking into the basement.

Can you change the layout of your landscape to reduce runoff?
An essential part of stormwater management is keeping water from leaving your property or at least slowing its flow as much as possible.  You could provide low areas landscaped with shrubs and flowers to encourage water to soak into the ground.  If your yard is hilly, you can terrace slopes to slow the flow of runoff and make mowing and gardening easier.  If your property adjoins a lake or stream, one of the best ways to slow and filter runoff is to leave a buffer strip of thick vegetation along the waterfront. 

Assessment 2 – Landscaping and site management to control runoff
For each question in the assessment table located in the link below, indicate your risk level.  Your goal is to lower your risks.  In the action checklist, record your medium and high risk practices and use the recommendations to help reduce your risks.

Attached Document or FileRain Gardens A How-To Manual for Homeowners
Attached Document or FileStormwater Resident Monthly Planner Tips on Yard care Practices to Improve Stormwater Runoff
Attached Document or FileAssessment 2 Landscaping and site management to control runoff
Attached Document or FileTrees Pay Us Back Article from Urban Forestry Magazine Spring 2009
Attached Document or FileRain Gardens A Beautiful Contribution for Cleaner Water
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