Slow It! Spread It! Sink It!
Rainwater capture and management helps minimize stormwater impacts on the surrounding area through a natural system approach. These design measures remove stormwater pollutants, recharge groundwater, reduce peak stream flows that cause flooding, absorb carbon, and improve air quality and neighborhood aesthetics.
Find practical and eco-friendly ways to protect your property and the environment from the effects of stormwater runoff. Learn about gutters and downspouts, cisterns or rain barrels, dripline protection, ground covers, rain gardens, swales, dry creek beds, retaining walls, creating pervious surfaces and more! For more information, click on one of the publications below.
If you’re planning to develop or redevelop a property, consider redesigning your drainage to reduce water quality impacts. Rain runoff carries pollutants to creeks and other water bodies. When rain flows over hard surfaces the speed and volume of water can cause creek erosion downstream. For ideas on how to use Low Impact Development design to protect fish and other wildlife in Marin’s creeks, explore the resources below and consider implementing the following practices:
- Disconnect downspouts to let water run off your roof onto a splash block and into landscaped areas.
- Install a rain barrel.
- Slow down your roof runoff by connecting rain chains to your roof gutters.
- Use mulch on plant beds to slow the flow in areas where water can seep in.
- Consider installing a rain garden.
LID and Stormwater Friendly Development Resources
- Slow It. Spread It. Sink It! – Eco-Friendly Solutions for Managing Rainwater on Your Property (draft version for Marin County residents)
- BASMAA Rain Gardens Fact Sheet – A 4-page technical guide on how to build a rain garden.
- LID – A Sensible Approach to Land Development and Stormwater Management – from the California Water and Land Use Partnership
- Green Infrastructure Projects in Marin – A closer look at various types of green infrastructure projects throughout the county.
- Blue-Green Building – Water Friendly Development in the East Bay – Sustainable water friendly development.
- Using Bioretention on Residential Lots – How to incorporate bioretention facilities into residential lots including how to calculate sizing.
What is a Green Street?
A green street is a stormwater management approach that incorporates vegetation (perennials, shrubs, trees), soil, and engineered systems (e.g., permeable pavements, bioretention facilities) to slow, filter, and cleanse stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces (e.g., streets, sidewalks). Green streets are designed to capture rainwater at its source, where rain falls. Whereas, a traditional street is designed to direct stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces into storm sewer systems (gutters, drains, pipes) that discharge directly into surface waters, rivers, and streams.
The EPA’s Green Streets: The Road to Clean Water video highlights green streets as a technique for managing stormwater and providing other economic and community benefits. Shown are examples of green streets in localities that have worked with EPA and other partners to incorporate green streets as part of their stormwater management plans. Green features shown include permeable pavement, rain gardens, vegetative curb areas, and sidewalk trees.