5 Hours

Intermediate – I’ve got 5 hours, what can I do?

Use Less Water
Install aerators.  Attached to the faucet head, an aerator reduces water use by adding air to the water stream.  Many faucets with aerators consume as little as 1 gallon per minute – in contrast to a typical faucet which uses 3 gallons per minute.

Disconnect and redirect your downspouts
There are a variety of things you can do to capture some or all of that water before it enters the combined sewer system.  Some of these things can be done in about five hours, but the larger your building, more time and planning will be required.  To get you started:

  • Redirect one or more of your downspout to a green area where the water will be able to soak into the ground.  Water from downspouts can effectively be used to irrigate landscaping. Be careful here – you don’t want to put too much rainwater into an area that can’t absorb it.   So how do you know?  Downspout Disconnection (PDF)
  • Install a container garden. Container gardens, above ground or below ground, can help capture stormwater and can be an inexpensive way to decorate the exterior of your commercial property.  Container gardens are often used along the sides of buildings, sidewalks or parking lots to add green space in tightly confined urban areas.  They can take on a number of different configurations and above ground planters can be made of a variety of materials including brick, stone, ceramic, wood and metal.  Underground container gardens can be constructed alongside buildings provided that proper waterproofing measures are used to protect foundations.  Stormwater Planter Box (PDF)

Plant a Tree.
Trees are not only a beautiful addition to your businesses’ exterior landscape, they also provide invaluable benefits to cities.  If you are interested in planting more trees on your property, click here.

Remove Some Pavement.
Eliminating pavement and replacing it with native plants is another way to manage stormwater effectively.  If you are already removing pavement, consider how you can replace less of it.

Utilize conservation landscaping measures.
Conservation landscaping is the practice of using native plants that require less water and maintenance than conventional landscapes (turf grass and non-native plants).  Conservation landscaping will produce substantially less stormwater runoff than a conventional landscape and requires less maintenance.  To learn more, click here.

Advanced – I have 5 days, what should I do ?