With all of this rain falling from the sky, wouldn’t it be a great idea to harness what nature is providing us for the garden rather than relying on drinking water?
What is a raingarden?
A raingarden can be a garden bed that uses rainwater caught on a hard surface, like a roof or a road. Once the water flows through the garden bed it will usually be returned back to stormwater. You might install a raingarden at home, next to your rainwater tank or you might contact your local council and suggest that they convert your local nature strips to rain gardens like the one in this video.
Why use a raingarden?
Use a valuable resource before it goes down the drain
Rather than letting the overflow from your tank or roof flow straight to storm water, the raingarden provides a fantastic way for you to make use of the water before it leaves your property.
Cleanse the water
Sometimes water can pick up heavy metal from our roofs; while on the road, water often picks up emission particles, litter, oil and even dog poo! So filtering that water before it hits our precious waterways is a must. Raingardens provide a fantastic natural filter, with root systems and a combination of soil types that clean and treat the water.
Slow the water down
After a big downpour our stormwater infrastructure in many of our cities and towns can really struggle to cope as water always rushes to the lowest point. Downpipes and drains are a fast track for getting this water off our proporties but also create a deluge which can be too much for our streams and rivers. Raingardens are one way that we can start to slow some of that water down. Rather than going straight into a pipe from a gutter, the water slowly seeps down through the soil of a raingarden before reaching the drainage pipe, potentially mitigating flash floods.
I want one
There are some fantastic resources out there that show you how to build your very own raingarden. A word of caution: you may need to contact you local council or water retailer in some parts of Australia before diverting rainwater, and you will need to make sure that after the water flows through your raingarden it’s returned to stormwater. Melbourne Water has a whole website full of wonderfully detailed information and instructions on how to build a raingarden.
Drop us a comment below and tell us how your garden makes use of rainwater.