There are a number of stormwater best management practices that you can implement around your home and yard to collect rainwater and prevent runoff of potential pollutants. The following features represent just a sample of potential practices. For additional information and to decide which features may work best for your home, you can reach out to the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District to review potential practices and installation considerations, including size, cost, and maintenance.
1. Rain Gardens: garden spaces that are typically placed in low-lying areas or created as depressions to direct rainwater off of impervious surfaces with a pipe or swale. Rain gardens typically use native plants to most effectively absorb and infiltrate rainwater as it collects in the depression.
2. Permeable Pavers: Pavement in a driveway or other area of a property with pervious material that allows water to infiltrate into the ground (as opposed to traditional asphalt/concrete in which water runs off into a nearby storm drain).
3. Rain Barrels and Cisterns: A barrel or cistern that is connected to a home’s downspout to collect rainwater and prevent runoff into the yard or nearby storm drain. Installations can come in a range of shapes and sizes and typically include a nozzle to release water when the barrel is filled. Collected water can be slowly released or used for gardening and watering plants.
4. Conservation Landscaping: Replacement of turf grass, bare soil, and/or non-native plants with native plants. As opposed to rain gardens, conservation landscaping can be incorporated anywhere on a property, including garden beds or raised beds.