For the past 7 years I have been installing Rain Gardens, a planned garden depression that holds and filters rain water. Many of my customers have experienced the fun of watching the garden fill during a rain event and then dissipate when the rain has stopped. They understand that the rain garden helps to slow down stormwater surges and filters and cleans the water as it passes through the specialized soils.
Now we have research coming back that shows just how dramatic the results can be. Sightline Daily (http://daily.sightline.org/) has a nice summary of how important these gardens can be. In researching waters running off highways the study found that unfiltered water will kill all the salmon in the test pool within 12 hours but if the water runs through a rain garden first, none of the salmon die!
Read the summary here: http://daily.sightline.org/2015/01/22/rain-gardens-could-make-runoff-safe-for-salmon/.
Rain gardens are becoming the standard way of dealing with site waters and many municipalities are requiring them to be installed during new home construction. Are the days of the large detention ponds surrounded by the chain link fence as thing of the past? Yes, it appears we are heading in that direction and I think it is a good thing for all of us and Mother Nature…