It’s been a long hot summer and dirt, oil, tire dust and animal droppings have built up on our roads and walkways. Seasonal rains are just around the corner, and they do an excellent job of washing away all that dirt and pollution. The trouble is, pollution is washed directly into our rivers, beaches and ocean, creating contaminated water that is dangerous to be in and around.
The first inch of rain that falls onto concrete, roads or other impermeable surfaces picks up the most pollution, and is known as the ‘first flush’.
The best way we can prevent runoff from polluting our waterways and the ocean is to let it sink into healthy soil in our own landscapes. Small indentations in the ground create what are known as rain gardens, providing a natural filter for the polluted rainwater. The roots of plants in the rain garden create the perfect environment for soil microbes to do their thing and neutralize all the nasties. Additionally, the rain is held in the garden for use during the dry times – a piggy bank for water.
Effectively dealing with this highly polluted first flush is just one of the many benefits of an Ocean Friendly Garden. Find out more by visiting https://sandiego.surfrider.org/ofg/