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November 2013

How Does Your Garden…Drain?

Vegetated swales are integrated into parking lots to infiltrate and treat a portion of stormwater volume.

When it comes to rain, it is well known that the Pacific North“wet” is at the top of the list for soggy weather in the continental United States and southwest Canada. With increasing urbanization and development, the rain that nourishes lush greenery now runs over and off concrete and asphalt sidewalks and streets, scouring the various oils, pesticides, and other contaminants into stormwater drains. This runoff then travels unfiltered into streams and rivers, not only polluting waters, but causing erosion and mudslides, depleting groundwater sources, flooding low-lying areas, and damaging property. According to the Puget Sound Partnership, stormwater is the number one polluter of Puget Sound and has harmed salmon, trout, and shellfish. It’s a no-win situation.