I have been working with Higher Ground of Chattanooga to design rain gardens. Did you know that the City of Chattanooga will help you pay to install a rain garden? Rain gardens are simple depressions in your property that allow the rainwater to slowly infiltrate into your yard's soil and eventually back into the ground water. The slow percolation not only supplies water to your yard's plants, but filters contaminants that would otherwise be carried into the storm sewer and into our river.
A rain garden is not like the retention ponds that accompany large parking lots. A rain garden should be large enough to sequester (or detain) water that is shed from the property's impervious surfaces and drain within 24-36 hours to prevent mosquito eggs from hatching. While the water is on your property, though, it can supply needed water for a gorgeous array of plants that can attract and support a variety of pollinators and birds.
Here is a simple section view of what a rain garden can look like. In my next post I will go over some of the numbers from the RainSmart program and show you how you can easily bring a lot of value to your home and neighborhood with a little help from you friends. In the meantime, call me or check out the City's information on RainSmart at: http://www.chattanooga.gov/public-works/water-quality-program/rainsmart