Rain Barrels, Rain Gardens, and Stormwater

Using Green Infrastructure to Manage Stormwater


Do you have problems with flooding in your street or yard after the rain? Do you want a cheap and easy fix that will also lower your energy bills, raise the value of your home, make your street safer, and benefit wildlife? If so, all you need is a tree.

Trees help with stormwater flooding by increasing the amount of water that can be stored in the soil, increasing the rate at which water can soak into the soil, and moving the water back into the atmosphere through evapotranspiration (i.e. soaking the water in through its roots and sending it out in the form of water vapor through the pores in its leaves). A single large tree can manage the water from 1 inch of rainfall over approximately half an acre.

Flooding problems will only increase in the future. As our sea levels rise so does our groundwater. Even non-coastal areas that do not experience tidal flooding will see more stormwater flooding as a result. The more trees we plant today, the better prepared we will be for the future.

Learn more about trees and the species recommended for Hollywood on our website. http://www.hollywoodfl.org/1080/The-Value-of-Street-Trees

EPA tree image
(image source: EPA.gov)

Rain Gardens

rain garden TNC
A Rain Garden is a planted area of your yard where rain water collects. Instead of running off of a driveway or other hard, impervious surface and in to a storm drain or canal unfiltered, rain water collected in a rain garden has time to absorb into the ground, assisted by the root systems of the plants.

Benefits include reducing stormwater flooding, improving water quality, increasing infiltration into the aquifer, and attracting wildlife benefits when native plants are used. 

(image source: The Nature Conservancy)
Learn more about your local water resources, using rain gardens to manage stormwater and attract wildlife, and the benefits of rain barrels in the presentation below.

The Institute for Regional Conservation created a list of rain garden plants for Hollywood residents. Find more native plants using their tool Natives for Your Neighborhood.
Wondering where to find those native plants? The Broward Native Plant Society, Coontie Chapter, have created a list of local nurseries that sell native plants.  
rain barrel presentation
rain garden plants2

Rain Barrels

Nationally, 30% of residential water use is outdoors. In Florida that average can be as much as 50% primarily for landscape irrigation. That water must be extracted from our aquifer, treated, and distributed to our homes all of which uses energy.

Save water, energy and money by installing a rain barrel on your home.

In addition to the aforementioned savings, rain barrels also help with stormwater management and aquifer recharge. Your roof is a large, impervious surface and water flowing off of it can contribute to stormwater runoff, stormwater pollution, and flooding. Instead, collect the water in a rain barrel and send the overflow into a rain garden. Doing so means that the water from your roof will make it on to a permeable surface and eventually into the aquifer. 

See the presentation above for more information or click here for an instruction sheet on how to build and maintain a rain barrel, produced by UF/IFAS, or download a 28 page homeowner's guide from the South Florida Water Management District. 

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Have you planted a rain garden or installed a rain barrel? Take a photo and share on social media with #seenbeinggreen!