Reducing water use on our lawns and in our sewer system helps reduce the overall amount of water being run through out watershed. Here are a few ways to make sure you’re using water to its full potential!
Use a rain barrel to harvest rainwater
Rainfall is free and good for plants, so why not store it for later use? Rain barrels make it easy, and they reduce the need to tap into our precious groundwater during summer droughts. They also come in many styles, colors, and configurations to match your needs.
- Rain barrel facts and advice
- Benefits of rain barrels
- Rain barrel systems from RainReserve
- Video tutorial
- Rain barrels: application, installation, tips, & limitations
- Two ways to make your own rain barrel:
Redirect your roof downspouts toward a lawn or rain garden
Our rooftops can shed tremendous amounts of rainfall every time it rains. If your downspouts are pointed to a driveway or other hard surface, this water is never given an opportunity to infiltrate into the ground. Instead, it turns into excess runoff which can be damaging to our storm sewer infrastructure and lakes. You can help by pointing your roof downspouts toward a rain garden or permeable area in your yard.
Create your own rain garden
Rain gardens are lake-friendly landscaping features that will add beauty and wildlife value to any yard. When positioned next to a runoff-generating downspout or concrete driveway, these planted depressions can capture and absorb tremendous amounts of water. Allowing water to infiltrate into the soil helps recharge our groundwater while protecting our lakes from harmful storm runoff. There are a variety of options, even for those with limited yard space, time, or financial resources to devote to the project.
- Video tutorial 1
- Video tutorial 2
- A Guide for Homeowners and Landscapers (color)
- A Guide for Homeowners and Landscapers (print)
- DNR on rain gardens
For more great ways to conserve water at home, visit the Madison Water Utility website on water sustainability here!