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Rain Gardens and Bio-Swales

Traditional buildings capture rain from the roof and direct it immediately into the storm drain system and eventually local streams. As development becomes more and more dense, our streams have been seriously impacted by this increased flow, as well as adding minerals and other pollutants. This has had a detrimental effect on the environment and wildlife.

Rain Garden

Bioswales have been required for many developments over the past decade but many have failed or are unattractive due to their design. The combination of parking lot and roof runoffs also complicate their effectiveness. To mitigate this problem, a new concept that is being incorporated into development is the use of rain gardens.

A rain garden is normally created by disconnecting a building’s downspouts from the storm rain and directing the rainwater into a vegetative swale. The swale is designed to accommodate water from a typical rain event and allow it to infiltrate back into the soil, keeping it out of the storm water system. An overflow is installed to capture excessive rain and keep the swale from overflowing.