Monday, May 14, 2012
The traditional approach has been to either ignore runoff until it causes trouble, or to get rid of it as quickly as possible, typically through buried pipes.
My approach is to make runoff the central driver in landscaping decisions, to treat it as an asset while keeping it away from the house, and to take as much advantage of it as possible before it leaves the property.
One dilemma in our yard has been that much of the rainwater from the roof was directed into the driveway via underground pipes. From there, it was expected to flow away through a small drainage pipe that has never worked very well. The drain has become so slow, and unrotorootable, that the driveway now behaves like a retention basin. Not a bad use for a driveway, in some respects, but not ideal.
Part of the solution has been to reroute runoff into the front and back yards, away from the driveway.
One less than optimal aspect, not considered until after the fact, was that quite a few tree roots got cut in the process. A lawn's monocrop appearance gives no clue to the web of tree roots just below the surface. Hopefully the trees will end up benefitting from the extra water coming their way.