How to Divert Rain Water

When the rainy season is going strong, it can be difficult to manage all the runoff. Massive amounts of this rainwater can carry contaminates to clean water supplies, create excessive mud and sometimes even damage buildings and infrastructure. Finding ways to divert some of the rainwater is essential. Here are two things you can try:

  1. Rain barrels Your house's gutter system is already diverting water off your roof and controlling where it flows down. Instead of letting the water all spill in just a few places, you can connect your downspouts to 55-gallon (208-liter) barrels. Keep the barrels covered, except for a hole in the lid where you'll attach the downspout. Attach a trickle hose to the barrels and spread out the water flow by distributing it evenly throughout your property. You can even store the water in the barrels to use for watering your lawn and plants during dry times [source: UMUC].
  2. Rain gardens Put all the rainwater to good use nourishing a thirsty garden of flowers, shrubs and trees. Find a naturally lower area of your property and create a garden about 20-percent of the size of the area draining into it. Make it curvy, with the longest possible length perpendicular to the slope of the land. Dig 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters) of existing soil out from the area of the garden. Use the dug up dirt to create a barrier on the downhill side to keep the water in the garden. Add a little compost to the soil bed and then plant hardy, thirsty plants [source: EPA].