We’ve all seen the problems stormwater runoff can cause here in York County, from flooded roads and yards, to washing litter and pollutants into our storm drains and into our rivers and lakes. It is a problem we all share, but also one that we can fix with a little team work and some green thinking. York County is spearheading an initiative to develop 1,000 rain gardens within our county in order to curb the amount of stormwater runoff and to act as natural filters of pollutants to prevent them from entering our lakes and streams. Rain gardens can be a fun and attractive way to protect our water resources.
What are Rain Gardens?
A rain garden is a shallow depression in the ground that captures runoff from your driveway and roof and allows it to soak into the ground instead of running across roads and carrying pollutants to a drainage ditch or storm drain, ultimately reaching a stream or lake. Plants and soil work together to absorb and filter out pollutants and return cleaner water to the ground.
What are the benefits?
- Less flooding of yards and road
- Less erosion of banks and roadsides from rushing water
- Rain garden plants provide habitat for bees, birds and butterflies
- A way to manage low areas on your property where rain water naturally accumulates
- Cleaner lakes and rivers, which are a source of drinking water for municipal water systems, can result in less money spent at water pre-treatment facilities
- Provide another beautiful element to your landscape
- Recharges groundwater rather than diverting water to storm drains
- Chlorine-free water helps maintain a healthy biotic community in the soil
- Educational tool for teaching about water conservation