Roof downspouts are directed to a garden or flat portion of lawn


What is this?

Moving your downspouts to a garden or flat area of lawn can be the easiest and most effective way to handle your rain water.  If you have gutters on around your roof, check to see where the downspouts empty out.  Hopefully they are not only directed away from your home’s foundation, but are directed so that the rain water has a chance to infiltrate back into the earth before it heads to the storm sewer.  If your downspout drains directly down your asphalt driveway into the street, it does not have a chance to be absorbed back into the ground.  This is also a good time to check that your gutters are free of debris as mosquitoes thrive in dirty gutters.

How do I do this?

On my own

  1. Always be sure your downspouts are directing water away from your building’s foundation.   
  2. Use downspout extenders to direct water towards a desired location such as a garden. These can be purchased at most hardware stores and come in a variety of styles including flexible and hinged. You can also use drain tubing and might like the perforated tubing that allows water to seep out through the length of the tube – this can be useful for certain garden situations in which stormwater coming off the roof can automatically water a garden.
  3. Downspouts can direct water underground that is then released into a “bubbler pot” in a garden bed or flat area of lawn.  For an example of this, click here.

Hire some help
Most landscapers and gutter installation companies can help direct your downspouts into a desirable location.

Why is this important?

If you direct your rain water to empty into a garden or onto a flat surface of lawn, you will increase the amount of water that filters into the ground. When water filters into the ground instead of running off, it helps recharge our local aquifers and helps alleviate flooding and drainage issues. This in turn protects streams, rivers and lakes from pollutants carried by stormwater runoff such as lawn pesticides and fertilizers, oil and fluids from automobiles, and other potentially harmful substances that are washed off roofs and paved areas.

As our area continues to be developed, increased storm-water runoff results from the increase in impervious surfaces (roads, buildings, etc.). This leads to increased flooding in which pollutants are carried from the streets, parking lots and lawns to our streams, rivers and lakes. By directing your roof downspouts, you help keep our water clean and you our garden may appreciate the extra bit of water too!

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