Managing Stormwater

26 Sep 2023


As the name implies, stormwater is the water that drains off the land, buildings, and paved surfaces during and after rainfall. It carries with it everything present on the surface, including litter, fertilisers, oil residues, soil, and organic matter. Unfortunately, if left unmanaged, stormwater can cause significant harm to the environment. It can cause erosion on land and transport pollutants and other harmful substances downstream, eventually polluting the surrounding waterways. However, with the right management and a little effort, stormwater can become a valuable resource, replacing the need for other sources of water for household and environmental use.

The Importance of Proper Stormwater Management

The consequences of poorly managed stormwater management can be substantial. When stormwater is allowed to run uncontrolled off construction sites, roads, or residential properties, it can cause significant problems by carrying pollutants and eroding landscapes. The resulting effects could include flash flooding, destruction of infrastructure and wildlife habitats, soil contamination, and stagnant water accumulation.

Using Stormwater as a Valuable Resource

On the other hand, if used correctly, stormwater can be an essential resource. This water can be used for a variety of purposes, like toilet flushing, garden watering, irrigation, or even a source of cooling for your home. Used in this way, this water helps to reduce demand on clean water supplies, lower water bills, and lessen the risk and expense associated with urban flooding.

Simple Steps to Managing Stormwater

Managing stormwater doesn't have to be daunting. There are some simple steps every homeowner can take to protect their surroundings and maximise the benefits that stormwater provides. For instance:

  • Invest in rain barrels or other types of storage containers to collect water for use around the home and garden.
  • Create a rain garden: this involves planting vegetation that can soak up stormwater from roofs or other impervious surfaces
  • Landscape your garden: direct water away from hard surfaces by using permeable materials such as mulch, rocks or gravel as opposed to concrete.

The Benefits of Good Stormwater Management

Proper stormwater management not only benefits the environment but also any surrounding properties, including your home. It helps to maintain the quality of groundwater, which may be an essential source of drinking water. It reduces erosion, thereby protecting the natural environment and even the structures of your property. Also, you'll save money on your water bill by using stormwater for non-potable purposes around the home, such as garden irrigation.

By managing stormwater, homeowners can play a valuable role in preserving the environment, protect their properties, and save money on water bills. While the process may seem challenging, there are many ways to turn stormwater into a valuable resource. Simple solutions such as installing rain barrels, creating rain gardens and using permeable materials in gardens (to name only a few), can all contribute to smarter management of stormwater. With the right approach, homeowners can be responsible stewards of the environment while still reaping the benefits of stormwater usage.