How to capture roof runoff using rain barrels to reduce stormwater pollution.
In an urban setting, much of the native landscape has been replaced with roads, buildings and parking areas. These “impervious” surfaces are non-porous areas that prevent or retard water from entering the soil. Heavily compacted soils beneath lawns, sports fields and pastures also create unexpected impervious areas.
When it rains, these surfaces generate large volumes of surface runoff. This unfiltered runoff — often contaminated with pollutants such as pesticides, sediments and heavy metals — flows into the watershed’s streams and rivers through storm drains. Installing rain barrels helps reduce the velocity and volume of runoff by capturing and confining the water before it enters the watershed. (2012) Publication produced by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.