Monday, November 1, 2010

Here comes the rain again

By Sandy Howard

Now that Annie Lennox is singing that song in your head, here’s my point.

The first fall rains have arrived in Washington. If the puddles are getting deep in your neighborhood, you could be thinking there’s not much you can do about it. Well, my blog is to tell you what people are doing about it and maybe I can get you thinking about actions you can take, too.

After all, polluted runoff is the number one threat to our waters and to Puget Sound.

Some of you are becoming detectives and learning the locations of your neighborhood stormwater drains. You can help flooding problems in your neighborhood by raking the leaves away. The city of Olympia offers this "Rake a Drain" advice.

Of course rainwater runoff picks up and carries a lot of pollution, too. Some folks are making use of a rainy day to go online to get their kids educated about why it’s important to keep only rain going down the drain. Check out how they can become Drain Rangers, thanks to the Puget Sound Partnership!

Are you a small business owner? Here is some advice to protect your storm drain from pollution – one easy step is to close the lid on your dumpster! That’s it, Only Rain Down the Drain!

People are becoming inspired by a neighborhood that’s taking control of the situation by installing rain gardens in their yards to cut down on flooding and pollution problems. We like the idea of a neighborhood getting off the stormwater grid. What a great way to think about this. And we applaud their volunteer spirit! Watch KING-TV news “Rain Gardens Take Neighborhood by Storm.”

Pierce County is doing some work to allow rainwater runoff to soak directly into parts of its large parking lot at Sprinker Recreation Center. Construction of the Sprinker low impact development project is now 100 percent complete, and the only remaining task is to install the signs. Ecology funded this work under the Stormwater Management Implementation Grant Program in fiscal year 2008. See this video clip from PCTV news about the project.

If you know of any interesting news or happenings about rainwater runoff, or how people, local organizations and governments are dealing with it – especially video and web content, let us know. We’d like to blog about it. Email me at

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