Polluted runoff is harmful to the environment and needs to be stopped. Here are a couple easy steps you can take to sustain water quality.

One way to block runoff would be to force new buildings to include a green roof or a rain garden. This law would start with political or government-funded buildings, and if it went well, would apply to smaller properties.

A green roof absorbs rainfall immediately, instead of creating runoff. When runoff carries pollutants, it is harmful to the environment. In addition, runoff picks up sediment and causes erosion. A green roof also promotes cleaner air and can stop thermal pollution, which is another large problem. Thermal pollution occurs when runoff from roads or other impervious dark surfaces heats water up, and kills fish eggs and other organisms.

If you want to make an immediate difference, try a rain garden. Rain gardens can reduce the amount of water that runs off by 30 percent. A rain garden is a shallow depression that is planted with deep-rooted native plants and grasses, and is beneficial in that it impedes runoff. A rain garden should be positioned near a runoff source like a rain spout or an impervious driveway.

Both of these help promote a cleaner environment. Consider these options. You can sustain our environment, and make it a more enjoyable space for all.

Eva Clews

Sixth-grade student

King Middle School, Portland