If you’re not familiar with what exactly stormwater runoff is, it is rainwater that flows above ground surface. It is created when various surfaces prevent the rainfall from being absorbed directly into the ground. These types of surfaces include paved driveways, sidewalks, rooftops, and much more. Stormwater runoff is the main cause of stream impairment that we have today. Oftentimes the stormwater runoff is polluted by everyday human activity. The water often becomes contaminated with chemicals from fertilizers such as phosphorus and nitrogen, and is also contaminated by pet and yard waste. Although this issue cannot be completely stopped, it is important to be aware of some of the best ways as a homeowner to manage stormwater runoff coming from your home.

The biggest areas contributing to the growing issue of stormwater runoff are urban areas. These have more surfaces for the water to end up on. You might think that if your log cabin is tucked away into the woods that you will not need to worry about this problem. While it is true that it’s not the biggest issue, log homes that are tucked away can still contribute to runoff issues. Typically your log home is at least going to have a driveway and of course a roof. A great option to help with the runoff  is to install Rain Barrels for the rain to be collected in when coming from the downspout. This could also provide additional benefits to your home, since water near the bottom of your home’s logs is not ideal for preservation anyway. Rain barrels can collect up to 55 gallons of water! You may also consider a Cistern. A cistern can collect and hold up to 20,000 gallons. There are many uses around a home that you can use free collected rainwater for.

A Buffer Zone is another wonderful option to help control stormwater runoff. If you have a stream, or other body of water on your property a buffer zone is a great idea. A riparian buffer is a strip of dense vegetation, trees and soil in close proximity to the waterway. When water flows downhill and is heading towards the stream, it will first be filtered through the buffers before entering the stream.

One of our last ideas to consider to help the problem of stormwater runoff is a Rain Garden. Rain Gardens are not only incredibly helpful, but they also give great curb appeal and attractiveness to a home. Rain gardens help reduce the amount of and rapid flow of stormwater runoff. They collect stormwater runoff and increase infiltration directly into the soil. You’ll need to find plants that are capable of withstanding saturated soil. You can include many native trees, bushes, and other plants. This will also create a lovely natural habitat for birds and insects, and also can provide food and vegetation. An important tip is to at least keep the rain garden about 10 feet from your home, to avoid any flooding or water damage near your home’s foundation.