Landscaping for Water Quality

Water is everywhere. Every drop of water that falls affects the land it falls upon, and the quality of the land changes the character of the water as it travels through the landscape. We have seen the devastation that can come from large storm events and flooding, where water washes away our shorelines and floods homes and streambanks. Water changes the land. Pollution on the land, exposed soil, and excess nutrients and waste will travel with the water across the landscape muddying and contaminating our drinking water, destroying habitat for native species, increasing habitat for invasive and nuisance species, and diminishing the integrity of our most precious resource. Land changes the water.

Landscaping for Water Quality is a means of planting vegetation and using design practices to ensure that when water enters our landscapes it is replenishing the soil, and helping desired vegetation, and returning to our waterways clean so that the quality of our water resources stays high. We can use landscaping to control the flow of water, retain it during heavy storm events, slow its speed as it crosses the land, and control the materials it carries with it. Landscaping for Water Quality focuses on using a plant palette appropriate for the particular site and climate, using low-maintenance techniques and sustainable design.

Rain Barrels

How to Build a Rain Barrel
Truth or Consequence: Rain Barrels

Rain Gardens
Rain Gardens Brochure
What is a Rain Garden
Soil Contaminants

Vegetation for Erosion Control

Landscaping for Water Quality in the Finger Lakes
What Plants Do I Choose?
Native Plants for NY Streamsides

Links:

Stream Buffer Planting Guide
Master Gardener
Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District 

Last updated April 8, 2016