Tips for Reducing Stormwater Runoff – Help Clean-up the Bay

April 5, 2011

There is a great new initiative in Virginia to help clean-up the Chesapeake Bay from stormwater runoff.  I know that you think because you don’t live near the Bay this doesn’t affect you, but it is actually the runoff from the cities that causes most of the pollutants in the Bay.  All the fertilizer you put on your grass to keep it green; ends up in the Bay.  So below are a few simple tips to help keep our Bay beautiful!

  •  Plant More Plants – A great campaign by the Chesapeake Bay Program that is teaching homeowners in the cities surrounding the Bay, simple landscape strategies to help keep the Bay healthy.  Plant More Plants has a great website that offers information on why this is important, how to plant rain gardens (with four planting plans), provides a comprehensive list of native plants for Virginia and a blog with information on soil, stormwater, wildlife and more. 

    Basic Rain Barrel from Plow and Hearth

  • Use of Rain Barrels – I have blogged about the use of rain barrels in the past, but the information is so important.  A single rain barrel can save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water a year.  This is 1,300 gallons of FREE water that you can use for watering plants, gardens and lawns or for even washing cars.  That is 1,300 gallons of water that gets absorbed back into the ground slowly and never reaches the Bay.

Permeable Paver Patio

  • Use of Permeable Pavers – This is another subject that I have blogged about in the past, the use of permeable pavers in landscaping.  Permeable pavers present a solid surface, but still allow storm water and pollutants (car oil, antifreeze, pesticides) to drain through a natural, ecological process.  The permeable pavers come in a variety of designs and colors for all types of applications (driveways, patios, walkways).   This is a product we use more and more in the northern neck of Virginia.

 We all love to eat the blue crabs and oysters, so let’s do our part to help keep the Bay clean and healthy!

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Are there eco-friendly solutions to paving?

March 25, 2009

perm-paverOver the last decade, more and more attention has been focused on surface run-off water, pollution and erosion problems.  The EPA and many municipalities are putting together new restrictions for water management.  The restrictions are especially prevalent in Coastal towns (like our friends on the Chesapeake Bay) that have to control their water run-off.

One solution to decreasing the impenetrable surface area of a driveway is to use permeable pavers.  They offer an environmentally friendly alternative to asphalt paving and concrete.  Permeable pavers present a solid surface, but still allow storm water and pollutants (car oil, antifreeze, pesticides) to drain through a natural, ecological process.  The permeable pavers come in a variety of designs and colors for all types of applications (driveways, patios, walkways).   

How does the system work?      

Water percolates through the holes in the pavers and flows into the gravel base.  The base consists of a layer of small open gravel, which is set upon a deeper base of larger stone gravel about 8-12 inches thick.  Through the natural cleaning process, water moves through the base, filtering out the pollutants and keeping them in the base and soil.  Then the ground water is released back into the main watershed. 

Permeable pavers offer an aesthetically pleasing and natural way to control your water run-off.


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