You Can Help Limit Flooding
|Author: Angelina Souren||Published: 22nd June 2010 00:38|
Many of us have nicely paved patios or front gardens. So do I. It means you don't have to cut the grass, it makes it easier to park your car, and lots of other things. But did you know that it also causes a higher risk of flooding?
The water that no longer can soak into the soil becomes surface runoff and then ends up in the drain or a stream. If you do have a drain on the site, it still means that this drain and the sewer system will have to take more water than if there was uncovered soil. That still means there is a higher risk of flooding.
If you already have a paved-over front garden, consider removing some of that pavement and using two lanes of pavement instead if you want to park your car easily and don't want to go "all natural". Using gravel between the strips of pavement is much better for drainage than having it all paved over. Green your back garden too, if you can, and remove at least some of those slabs of stone.
If you have plans to put decking or some other cover in your back garden or front garden, you may want to realize that you will also remove habitat when you do so. You'll destroy a piece of your local ecosystem. You may, for example, have heard of the declining number of sparrows. That could well be related to the increasing number of paved-over front gardens as well as the resulting decrease in insect numbers (see this BBC page).
But there is more. Did you know that you actually need planning permission if you want to cover your front garden with asphalt? New legislation was announced in 2008 and it came into force in 2009.
Last but not least, keep in mind that permeable pavement (instead of asphalt) not only is expensive, its pores tend to clog up over time, I've been told (at a meeting of the Portsmouth Environmental Forum). So do yourself a favour, and go with gravel, or with just two lanes of pavement or, if your garden is green, do nothing at all and use a hand mower to keep yourself and that lawn in good shape.
For more about the introduction of those new rules:
Speaking of gardens...
- Did you know there is a national Cherry Tree Survey going on?
- Have you heard of the Million Ponds Project?