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Slow the Flow

Slow the flow of water off your property

In a natural ecosystem, rain soaks into the ground, and trees, shrubs, and vegetated areas slow down flowing water. Our urban areas have replaced these permeable surfaces with impermeable streets, sidewalks, driveways, and rooftops that cannot absorb water. This leads to stormwater runoff, with water rapidly running down paved surfaces and into storm drains, which lead directly to local waterways.

If you own your home or have permission from a landlord or Homeowners Association (HOA) to make adjustments, consider finding ways to slow the flow of rainwater from your home and property.

Tree People

Hang a Rain Chain

Rain chains are an easy and attractive way to slow down water coming off the roof of a home. They can replace traditional downspouts or be added to a gutter. While they need to be installed in a way that keeps water from pooling near the home’s foundation, they can prevent soil erosion and gently distribute water over a larger area.

Check out this video from the Colorado Stormwater Center of Rain Chains in action and read What Is a Rain Chain? (2023 Guide) by This Old House for more rain chain considerations.

Home Depot

Disconnect or Redirect Downspouts

Downspouts are responsible for directing water away from the foundation of a home or building. Look for downspouts leading onto pavement. These are opportunities to redirect the water to grass and other vegetated areas, allowing water to infiltrate into the ground. This reduces stormwater runoff and peak flows in our streams.

Flexible downspout extensions are easy and affordable to install on exposed downspouts. See the tools required and video instructions for downspout disconnection from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Install a Rain Barrel

Installing a rain barrel is a form of rainwater harvesting that is permitted in Colorado (with some easy-to-follow guidelines). This collected water can be used to irrigate lawns, landscaping, and other plants.

The Colorado Stormwater Center’s Rain Barrel webpage has all the information needed to install a rain barrel. There you will find:

Para instrucciones en español ver el Guía de instalación del barril pluvial.

Colorado Stormwater Center

Build a Rain Garden

If you have the space, ability, and permission, consider building a rain garden. Rain gardens are depressed areas in a landscape that collect rainwater and allow it to soak into the ground. It is filled with native and perennial plants, grasses, and flowers, providing habitat for pollinators while naturally filtering the water.

Get started planning your rain garden with resources available on the Colorado Stormwater Center’s Rain Garden webpage: