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How to have a Severn River Friendly Yard

There are so many things you can do to help the Severn River.

Rain Barrels

Install a rain barrel under the gutter of your home to har- vest rain water from your home’s roof. This prevents stormwater, the number one pollutant, from entering the Severn River. Why is this important? There is an amaz- ing amount of pollutant living on our roofs and during a rain storm, these pollutants are mixed with rain water and washed down into ditches and directly into the Severn River.

Did you also know that the lawn and garden uses 40% of household water during the growing season? A rain barrel will help reduce this usage! The water collected can be used for watering flower beds and gardens. If every CMIA household had two 50 gallon rain barrels each (CMIA has approximately 550 homes), 55,000 gallons of stormwater water pollutants would be prevented from entering the river.

The benefits of a rain barrel are:

  • Conserving Water
  • Prevention of contaminated stormwater from entering the Severn River
  • Helps prevent erosion
  • Helps prevent flooding
  • Very pretty landscape feature
  • Provides water for your plants and gardens.

To install a rain barrel, all you typically need is a 55 gallon drum rain barrel, a vinyl hose, PVC couplings, and a screen to keep our debris and insects (very important to keep our mosquito population down). Rain Barrels can be purchased at major retailers like Ace Hardware, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, Arlington Echo, Plow & Hearth, Amazon.com, and Rainbarrel-source.com.

Rain Gardens

Rain Gardens are another very important way to help improve the water quality of the Severn River and Chesa- peake Bay. Rain gardens beautiful functioning gardens that allows rain water runoff from impervious surfaces such as roofs, driveways, and parking lots to be absorbed. Rain gardens prevent stormwater from entering our waterways. Native Maryland plants are recommended for rain gardens because they do not require fertilizer and are already adapted to our climate and soil conditions. Additionally, native plants attract local wildlife. In order to install a rain garden, the following checklist should be completed:

  1. Check to see if a grading permit is needed for your property (greater than 5000 sq ft)
  2. Test the Ph of your soil
  3. Determine what type of soil amendments are needed, for example Leafgro
  4. Dig and plant your garden

A rain garden should not take more than one to two days to install. More information can be found at the link above.