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WATER: Runoff

Runoff is water that doesn’t soak into the ground. Wet and muddy areas around the barn are troublesome to work in, a breeding grounds for insects, and it can erode the structure of your barn.

Here are some things you can do to improve and manage water runoff.

  1. Gutters and Downspouts: Downspouts can be connected to water barrels, directed to plants with pipes, or simply away from the structure.

  2. Rainbarrel Systems: Collecting roof runoff in rain barrels reduces the amount of water that flows from your property. It’s a great way to conserve water and it’s free water for use in your landscape.

  3. French Drains: A French drain is an underground drainage that consists of a perforated pipe surrounded by gravel. A French drain diverts runoff underground to a suitable outlet.

  4. Plant Trees: Trees are increasingly recognized for their importance in managing runoff. Their leaf canopies help reduce erosion caused by falling rain. They also provide surface area where rain water lands and evaporates. Roots take up water and help create conditions in the soil that promote infiltration.

  5. Permeable Materials: Alternatives to traditional pavement can help reduce runoff by infiltrating rain water and melting snow. These alternative materials which include pervious asphalt, pervious concrete, interlocking pavers, and plastic grid pavers, allow rain and snowmelt to seep through the surface down to underlying layers of soil and gravel. In addition to reducing the runoff from the rain that falls on them, permeable pavements can help filter out pollutants that contribute to water pollution.


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