Planting gardens could help keep chemicals out of your city's water. A new study found that building "rain gardens," shallow pools in the ground, planted with deep-rooted native plants, can significantly reduce the amount of toxins entering stormwater runoff systems.Rainwater that lands on paved areas is not absorbed, and simply runs downhill, picking up chemicals from roads and other areas before entering drainage systems. But easily constructed rain gardens absorb the water, recharging groundwater and keeping municipal water systems toxin-free. The gardens can also prevent flooding, the researchers found.
The idea of gardening to improve water quality is nothing new, but the scientific validation may help the gardens gain traction among city planners. They are most effective if planted next to paved surfaces like driveways and sidewalks. For more information on rain gardens, visit the Rain Garden Network.
[by Hillary Rosner, Syndicated from the Planet section of LIME ]