A combined sewer-stormwater overflow – caused when a sewer pipe connected to a stormwater pipe can’t handle the volume of water, sending raw sewage into our water bodies – is one runoff problem that can be fixed.

By installing a rain garden, you could prevent human waste from entering our bodies of water. Here are three reasons why everyone should have a rain garden:

 Rain gardens curb the majority of runoff. The plants will consume most of the water as it’s flowing past them. The plants also filter the water by trapping some pollutants. By doing that, the water gets slowed down, meaning less runoff.

 Also, rain gardens enable rainwater to infiltrate or evaporate, two processes of the water cycle. The plants in rain gardens trap the water, causing it to stay in the garden by either soaking into the ground or turning into vapor and going into the clouds. When the plants filter the water and slow it down, it gives the water enough time to infiltrate or evaporate.

 Finally, rain gardens not only improve the environment, but they look pleasant as well. Rain gardens can have curb appeal based on what plants you choose to put in. Two types of plants that are good to use are sweet fern (Comptonia) and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum).

These are just three of the many reasons rain gardens help the environment, and you can find out more of them by installing one. Everyone should have to help with the many runoff problems.

Riley Rheault

King Middle School student

Portland