Protect Water Quality
There are many reasons to collect rainwater. Did you know that on average in Sonoma County, nearly 30,000 gallons of rainwater falls on your roof each year? And that in most incorporated areas, that rain water goes directly into storm drains and out into the ocean? And did you know that, even in Sonoma County, we are draining the aquifer faster than we are recharging it? And that once the ground sinks due to loss of aquifer it’s impossible to get it back?
We can capture rain water in barrels or tanks and use that water to effectively grow both vegetables and ornamentals in our summer-dry Sonoma climate. We can also channel water from downspouts into a rain garden that allows the water to percolate into the aquifer that we depend on to supply our moisture during those dry summer months. Raised swales help direct the water into the rain garden. Even if you don’t use well water for your needs, we all depend on the aquifers that exist below us! And during the summer, this rain garden becomes an attractive landscape feature in your garden. In addition, permeable patios and pathways allow rainwater to be absorbed into the soil where non-permeable surfaces would allow that water to run off into the storm drains. The vast tracts of concrete and roadway have severely reduced the amount of permeable surface in the county. Every little bit of permeable surface we can add is important! (See our water conservation page for more hints & tips.)
 Based on a 1500 square foot roof and average rainfall as listed by U.S. Climate Date at http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/sonoma/california/united-states/usca1076