A Homeowner's Guide to Stormwater Management
Written by Matt Lee, Lee Design Studio in collaboration with Patrick Horgan, Huska Consulting
While April showers do bring May flowers, many homeowners know all too well the consequences of poor stormwater management. From flooded basements to backyard marshes, stormwater management is a great investment for homeowners.
Local jurisdictions continue to require more stormwater management features during large scale designs to meet rainfall and water mitigation requirements, which can be hard for an individual to navigate. Our friends from Huska Consulting, our go-to D.C. and NoVA civil engineering firm, join us to familiarize our clients with terms to be familiar with when navigating stormwater management on your own property:
Permeable Pavers When it comes to your driveway, patio, or walkway, permeable pavers are a great, low maintenance choice for stormwater management. Permeable pavers are not just normal pavers, they have hidden subsurface conditions (typically sand and structured underlayment beneath the pavers) that allow for better infiltration and water absorption. While more costly than traditional asphalt or concrete, these pavers require far less maintenance and homeowners will never have to deal with costly ruts, cracks, or potholes.
Stormwater Planters A stormwater planter is an attractive option for managing and filtering runoff rainwater. Not to be confused with simple clay pots or rain barrels, these large planters are filled with specific plants and depths to allow water to be absorbed and slowly released into the ground. Depending on your region, stormwater planters usually contain native flowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees.
Rain Gardens A rain garden is a strategically depressed area of your landscape that allows stormwater to pool and absorb into the ground. Your rain garden can contain grasses and perennials, and is a very cost effective way to reduce runoff on your property. In fact, rain gardens allow for 30% more water to soak into the ground compared to a conventional lawn. Typically, these gardens only hold water during and following a rainfall event.
Detention Vaults A detention vault is an underground box where site water is temporarily stored before being released at a controlled rate to help mitigate erosion and flooding. This method of stormwater management is typically used in an urban setting, where natural means are not available.
Stormwater management can add tens of thousands of dollars in design and construction costs for most residential projects, so it’s best to consult a skilled professional early on in your planning stages. Ready to take the next steps on your project or have questions on residential stormwater management? Schedule a consultation with Huska Consulting & Lee Design Studio today!