As the Sarasota area continues to grow one of the challenges developers, architects and city planners will encounter when building a structure or creating a paved road is the effect of a large non-permeable surface has on runoff.
Once a large waterproof surface has been created it can generates massive amounts of runoff during a rain storm.
This is a particular concern for the Sarasota area with so many large estate homes, sidewalks and roadways lining the bays and canals. In the case of large scale engineering projects, the standard solution is to create large open drainage ponds were the runoff water is channeled into and stored during storms. For residential areas and areas with high land values these large ponds are not an option.
Rain gardens also called Bioretention areas are an elegant solution. A rain garden, when properly designed will catch an be able to retain all of the storm water runoff generated in a typical rain event for the are it is designed. The rain garden will have the effect of stopping or in unusually large downpours, greatly slowing the speed of runoff, trapping or reducing the pollutants that find their way into Sarasota Bay, as well as allowing the water time to percolate down to the aquifer.
Rain Gardens have another major benefit – they clean the water of pollutants.
Depending on the load of pollutants a rain garden or bioretention area can be extremely effective in providing a natural filter that will remove and consume the pollutants in the run off water. Areas of normal amounts of pollution, like a suburb or waterfront neighborhood a rain garden is a simple landscape project. Areas that are pollution hotspots, highly urban or near a gas station for example may need to have a more advanced design that extends the amount of time run off is processed by the natural bacterias but as with residential areas the water will be cleaned of pollutants by natural biological processes.
What Exactly Is A Rain Garden?
A rain garden is a shallow depression in the ground that is planted with native plants that can handle living in a soggy environment as well as when it's dry. The depression is sculpted so storm water runs into it and gets trapped. The soil bottom of the rain garden has been prepared and depending on the conditions, may contain different layers of materials that allow the water to drain into the surrounding soil. Once the water has been trapped in the rain garden natural biological processes with begin to remove the nutrient from the water and break down pollutants into nutrients plants can utilize.
Once a rain garden has been established it will also create a beautiful habitat for native wild life. Landscape designers can make rain gardens very simple to more extravagant, incorporating rocks and a variety of plants to make a beautiful design that enhances both the aesthetic appeal of the space and works to clean and capture water, returning it to the local aquifer.
If you are interested in improving your landscape with a Florida-friendly rain garden contact Grants Gardens and we can design and install the next beautiful edition to your property.
Also, For additional information about Rain Gardens visit RainGardens.us