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The Stormwater Maintenance Resource Center compiles the most useful resources to assist residential property owners with the maintenance of their installed stormwater practices. We welcome you to explore these resources and submit your maintenance questions using our Ask An Expert feature. You’ll also learn about other resources available to help support you in your stormwater practice maintenance journey!
Installation of stormwater practices, or green infrastructure, combats pollution, erosion, and loss of habitat caused by stormwater runoff in a way that mimics the natural environment. Vegetative practices help to provide shade and reduce impervious surface to decrease temperatures and urban heat island effect that contributes to global warming. Regular maintenance of your stormwater practices keeps them working properly to handle the stormwater as they were designed to do, which helps keep our local waterways clean!
Maintained green spaces of all sizes are important, because they slow down and absorb rainwater, reduce flooding, and protect soil from erosion. As runoff flows across hard surfaces (like asphalt or concrete), it picks up speed. This flow of water carries pollutants, shifts soils, and erodes the ground. Bare soils, without the protection of vegetation, are highly vulnerable. As stormwater exits the sewer pipe with the force of a fire hose, it quickly wears away stream banks, adding erosion and pollution to our waterways, which is highly destructive to insects, fish, and other habitat. All stormwater practices help to slow or infiltrate stormwater, however green spaces using native plants with their extensive root systems hold soil in place, reducing sedimentation from runoff.
Stormwater practices designed to slow down and infiltrate stormwater keep pollutants from entering our waterways. Pollution from trash, oils, pet waste, salts, soaps, and other contaminants add chemicals, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment to our waterways, which reduces water quality and may create toxic conditions for wildlife and humans. Rain gardens, rain barrels, trees, permeable pavers, green roofs and infiltration practices all intercept and reduce the amount of stormwater reaching storm drains. Native plants and trees take up nutrients, filtering the water before it can enter our waterways. Regularly maintaining these stormwater practices helps them function effectively to manage stormwater and reduce pollution.
Healthy urban trees, gardens, and other stormwater practices are important for addressing climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions cover the Earth, trapping heat and causing global warming. Human activity, including burning fossil fuels, has contributed to a progressive change in the world’s climate. Climate change often results in localized events like heat waves, wildfires, heavy downpours, hurricanes, and flooding. These events are becoming more frequent and intense as the climate changes. Collectively, over time, these events cause larger scale issues like sea level rise, worsening air quality, and population migration. Native plants and trees absorb harmful gasses and air pollution and cool down hot, urban areas. Stormwater practices reduce flooding, support biodiversity, create resilient habitat, and make cities more livable.
Your actions make a difference!
Climate resilience is the ability to prepare for and respond to the impacts of climate change while preventing them from getting worse. Property owners can help to address the impacts of climate through installation of stormwater practices. Planting trees and other vegetation or installing green roofs helps to reduce urban heat island effect. Rain gardens, conservation landscaping, rain barrels, and permeable pavement help to reduce stormwater runoff to lessen flooding.
By implementing small practices at a local level, we work together to achieve a larger impact!
Well-maintained stormwater practices help to combat stormwater and climate change issues (including pollution, and erosion, and global warming) while beautifying your community!
Explore the following stormwater maintenance resources to take action to keep your stormwater practices in good working order. The Alliance partnered with Chesapeake Conservation Landscape Council, who consulted with top Chesapeake stormwater professionals, to review and select the most appropriate and valuable resources. Check out these resources, sorted by category, below.
Yard Design Tool
Photo credit: Canva
Residents of the Anacostia Watershed (including parts of Montgomery County, MD, Prince George’s County, MD and Washington, DC) are eligible to receive additional support through the Maintaining Stormwater Practices in the Anacostia Watershed pilot project. The following resources are provided through a small watershed grant funded by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.
Download the Property Owner’s Guide
INSPECTIONS Property owners may request site inspections and will receive a written assessment, including stormwater practice maintenance recommendations.
COST-SHARE MAINTENANCE SERVICE Property owners may apply for a one-time cost-share maintenance service, covering up to 50% of the maintenance costs (maximum of $750), learning proper maintenance techniques to confidently maintain their stormwater practices.
GREEN AMBASSADORS PROGRAM (GAP) This neighborhood volunteer program will motivate neighbors to support each other with stormwater practice maintenance on a community level. GAP will provide educational opportunities to homeowners to learn more about caring for their stormwater practices, support homeowners unable to care for their projects, help homeowners without paying a contractor, and connect homeowners in need of shared tools or materials.
Request a Free Inspection
Complete the cost-share maintenance application
Learn More About Green Ambassadors Program
Enter your zip code to ask a stormwater maintenance question!
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