When rain falls on impervious surfaces (i.e. roofs, streets, parking lots, sidewalks, etc.) the water cannot soak into the ground as it naturally should. This stormwater drains through gutters and storm drains and is discharged into nearby water bodies. Stormwater carries trash, bacteria, heavy metals and many other pollutants. Stormwater also has the potential to cause erosion and flooding that can damage habitat, property and infrastructure.
Green infrastructure reduces and treats stormwater by protecting, restoring and mimicking the natural flow of water through a range of measures, including those that use:
- Plant or soil systems
- Permeable pavement, surfaces or substrates
- Stormwater harvest and reuse
Green infrastructure also provides habitat for wildlife, flood protection, and cleaner air and water.
Log Your Environmental Efforts
Residents can help the County track environmental data—including where individuals plant trees or install rain barrels—that is used to inform potential mitigation methods and for mandatory reporting. Please take a moment to log your environmental efforts in the Environmental Reporter tool.
Learn more about the following projects residents can complete to improve their green infrastructure.
Project Description: Rain barrels are containers that collect about 40 to 75 gallons of water from rooftops and store it for use in yards, gardens and indoor plants. Rain barrels divert stormwater while also conserving tap water, conserving energy and saving money.
Project Description: Conservation landscaping is the practice of modifying the visible features of an area of land in a way that incorporates environmentally-sensitive design, low impact development, non-invasive species and integrated pest management. Conservation landscaping reduces the need for fertilizer and pesticides, filters and slows stormwater and provides habitat for wildlife and pollinators.
Project Description: Rain gardens are built in small depressions and contain native shrubs, perennials and flowers. They are designed to temporarily absorb rain water runoff and have the ability to remove up to 90 percent of nutrients and chemicals, and up to 80 percent of sediments from runoff. They can also serve as a pollinator habitat.
Project Description: Permeable pavers consist of concrete bricks that are separated by joints and whose gaps are filled with small stones, which are laid over a bed of aggregate stones. This allows water to infiltrate through the joints into the ground below, where it is slowly filtered. Permeable pavers reduce runoff, filter stormwater and function the same as impervious pavement.