Runoff Reduction

Water quality begins to diminish when more than 10 percent of the land adjacent to the ocean is covered with hard layers such as pavement or concrete.

When it rains, the runoff water cannot be absorbed into the soil like in a natural environment. Instead, the water pools and collects debris, oily waste, and other contaminants and deposits them in local waterways. This can send a nasty shock to the ecosystem and is a common cause for many beach closures.

A rain barrel is a small-scale conservation practice that collects and stores runoff for future use to water lawns and gardens. It’s estimated that during summer months, nearly 40 percent of household water is used for lawn and garden watering. A typical 40’ by 40’ roof is capable of collecting 1,000 gallons of water from only one inch of rain. Rain barrels are also very inexpensive and should not cost more than $20 to construct. The most common systems hold 40-80 gallons and are positioned below gutter spouts to collect water from the roof.

If you notice the water by your local waterway get cloudy after it rains, it might be time to start thinking about long term solutions such building bioswales, rain gardens, or installing permeable pavement in your parking lot. Unlike concrete or asphalt, permeable pavement allows storm water to pass through. In addition to reducing runoff, it traps and collects pollutants before they have the chance to enter the ocean.

To fulfill this Best Practice do at least one of the following:

  • Set up a rain barrel(s) to collect precipitation at your event.
  • Reduce fertilizers and/ or pesticides on venue property.
  • Discuss long-term solutions for reducing runoff at your venue.