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Reducing Runoff

When it rains, the water can land on two kinds of surfaces: pervious or impervious. Pervious surfaces allow water to soak into the ground. The other type, impervious, increases the amount of water in the drainage system and the amount of storm water pollution in our creeks and lakes. 

Impervious surfaces like streets, sidewalks, driveways, patios and roofs don't let water soak into the ground. Rain is forced to run off into the storm drainage system. Storm Water Services plans for that runoff by having storm drains and ditches. But any pollution on any hard surfaces gets in the path of storm water and winds up in our creeks and lakes.

There are alternatives to hard surfaces. Some alternatives allow rain to soak through. Others capture storm water to be used later. Both types of alternatives reduce runoff. That reduces the amount of storm water pollution reaching our streams and lakes. 
Sprinklers watering sidewalk as well as grass
Make sure your sprinklers water the lawn, not the concrete 
Alternatives to Impervious Surfaces

    • Rain barrels to catch rain from the downspout
    • Sand or pebble sidewalks
    • Rain gardens

Reducing runoff reduces the amount of storm water pollution reaching our creeks and lakes.

Impervious surfaces do not allow rain to soak into the ground, forcing it to runoff.

Impervious surfaces include: roofs, driveways, patios, sidewalks, streets, etc.

Where can I get a rain barrel?
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services partners with Mecklenburg Soil & Water Conservation District to sell rain barrels. Rain barrel prices range from $95 to $110 and are available on-demand. Visit www.mecklenburgconservation.com for more information or call 704-336-2455.

Are pervious materials commonly available?
Most pervious materials can be purchased at local home and garden stores. Installation classes are also available there.

Will rain gardens cause pest problems?
Rain gardens can be beautiful additions to a yard by planting water-loving plants in a wet area. Rain gardens are not intended to be large or hold large amounts of water; therefore pests should not be a problem.