Planned infrastructure enables promotion of conservation, stewardship and environmental sustainably. This includes stormwater management. Stormwater runoff is any natural precipitation that doesn’t soak in to the ground where it falls. When rain hits impervious surfaces such as roads, sidewalks and rooftops, the precipitation is channeled toward stormwater drainage systems. City of Regina’s long-term plan ensures integration of stormwater management into municipal reserves and open space in a manner that is compatible with the intended function of the open space. The City manages stormwater with storm sewers collecting rainwater and snow melt to drain into Pilot Butte Creek and Wascana Creek.
It’s important to manage stormwater as it runs off of impervious surfaces, it can carry sediments that clog streams, reduce oxygen in the water and potentially carry chemicals that poison the ecosystem.
The City supports runoff infiltration and retention by:
- Separating stormwater and sanitary sewer systems and continuing to reduce the incidence of water runoff being directed to the sanitary system.
- Adopting standards regulating the quality of stormwater.
- Explore waste-to-energy processes whereby waste and waste by-products of one activity are used as resources for another.
- Ensuring site, building and stormwater designs support the sustainability of the natural system and the establishment of a quality and aesthetically pleasing environment.
The City of Regina is doing their part. What can you as Home Owners do? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mantra for stormwater runoff is: slow it down, spread it out, and soak it in.
Here are a tips and ideas how a Home Owner can manage stormwater:
- Minimize impervious surfaces on your property. For example, consider paving stones for a driveway, patio or walkway. Water can seep down through the spaces between the individual stones.
- Line impervious surfaces with gravel trenches and it will all the water runoff to seep into the soil.
- Collect and use water that drains from your roof.
- Replace lawn areas with native plants, as they are more efficient at absorbing and retaining water than lawns.
- Adding organic matter to your soil can also reduce runoff.
- Don’t leave soil exposed. Exposed soil can be similar to hard surfaces in which water does not penetrate the soil. Consider mulch, wood chips or gravel.
- Plant trees and preserve existing ones.
- Don’t create runoff washing your car. Take your car to a car wash, that preferably recycles water.
- Create a rain garden which collects water and permeates the ground. Adding water loving plants help the water absorb quickly.
- Reduce the slope in your yard to help the water absorb into the ground vs. runoff. (Although ensure you have proper grade along foundations to prevent flooding!).
- Design your yard with berms and swales. Berms (a slightly raised area) can be used to slow runoff on steep slopes and swales (a ditch with a mild slope) planted with grass or other plants can direct water to a rain garden or storm drain.
Resource: WikiHow to Reduce Stormwater Runoff at Your Home. Retrieved October 20, 2016. http://www.wikihow.com/Reduce-Stormwater-Runoff-at-Your-Home