Letter: Rain garden help

Thanks to Bill Paul (Letters, May 31) for his important warning about locating rain gardens. Rain gardens aren’t meant to be ponds. They shouldn’t be located close to foundations — 10 feet away is the common rule — and should have their own arrangements to drain away from buildings in torrential downpours. (The ability to predict torrential downpours would be nice to have, not just for rain gardeners.)

Meanwhile, Mr. Paul is talking about large-scale industrial or municipal rain gardens, designed to carry the rain run off from “parking lots, streets, and anywhere that has large areas of pavement and/or cement.” (Industrial-scale roofs, which would present the same rain water problems, presumably already have their own built in arrangements.)

The Sunderland Elementary School teachers proposing to construct an educational rain garden for their students probably had something smaller in mind, however. Small rain gardens can use the run off from something like one side of a garage roof or the edge of a gazebo. Small rain gardens can be found on YouTube.

Even better, the University of Connecticut has a lovely, practical, detailed 12-page pamphlet available free online. Go to www.sustainability.uconn.edu and follow the rain garden link.



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