The Conservation Committee recommends the use of rain barrels and rain gardens to collect rainwater to beautify your lawn, save on watering cost, and help improve the water quality of our lake and river.
Rain barrels store 55 gallons of rainwater from your roof that you can use when it's dry to give thirsty gardens, flowers, and trees a drink. Rain barrels help keep excess water out of the sewer system when it rains. They also help prevent rain from becoming polluted stormwater runoff, the biggest remaining threat to clean water in the United States. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) operates a great Rain Barrel program.
A rain garden is a planted depression that allows rainwater runoff from impervious urban areas like roofs, driveways, walkways, parking lots, and compacted lawn areas the opportunity to be absorbed. This reduces rain runoff by allowing stormwater to soak into the ground (as opposed to flowing into storm drains and surface waters which causes erosion, water pollution, flooding, and diminished groundwater). They can be designed for specific soils and climates. The purpose of a rain garden is to improve water quality in nearby bodies of water. Rain gardens can cut down on the amount of pollution reaching creeks and streams by up to 30%.