Managing Water on Your Property

Redirect Downspouts to Pervious Surfaces

You can have a positive impact on stormwater runoff by slowing down runoff and keeping as much as possible on your own property instead of flowing directly into the street and storm drains. Whether you choose to use a rain barrel or rain garden or not, you can still redirect rooftop downspouts away from driveways and other impervious surfaces onto lawn areas or planting beds where it can soak into the ground. Add splash guards or gravel to prevent erosion.

Use a Rain Barrel

Using a rain barrel to capture runoff from your rooftop will not only help to keep dirty water out of our streams, but it will also help to reduce your demand on our clean water resources. You can also reduce your water consumption by avoiding overwatering and only watering after dusk or early in the day.

There are several companies that specialize in the manufacture and distribution of rain barrels. Rain barrels can also be found at most garden centers or home improvement stores.

Create a Rain Garden

Another way to better manage stormwater at home is to create a rain garden. A rain garden can be designed to capture stormwater runoff from rooftops, driveways, or lawns. Rain gardens increase infiltration rates, keeping our waters clean and helping to minimize local flooding and replenish groundwater.

The Rain Garden Resources will take you to a fact sheet prepared by the Conservation Commission and some useful pages on creating your own rain garden.

UMass Center for Agriculture and Environment also has a great page on how to install a rain garden and what plants to consider.

Properly Drain Swimming Pools

Swimming pools and spas contain many chemicals that are toxic to fish and other aquatic life. Discharging pool water to streets and storm drains can also cause a nuisance or localized flooding or erosion. Ideally, water should be discharged to your lawn in infiltrate slowly.

If this is not possible, certain criteria must be met before discharging to a storm drain. Regardless of which method is used, pool or spa water must be dechlorinated before discharge, per Burlington's Illicit Discharges and Detection Bylaw.