Reposted with permission from the Rock Creek Conservancy
District homeowners can help reduce polluted runoff by disconnecting downspouts for $50 each!
When it rains, water from rooftops runs into gutters and then through downspouts. “Connected” downspouts send rainwater directly into the storm/sewer system. Downspouts that divert water to driveways, sidewalks, or alleys are “indirectly” connected.
Even in a short rainfall, both types of connection contribute to the huge volume of water rushing in from streets, parking lots, and other paved areas, causing floods and sewer overflows into Rock Creek, the Anacostia and the Potomac Rivers. (To find out where your rainwater is going click here.) By disconnecting downspouts and re-directing the rainfall to lawns, into gardens, mulched areas, or trees, District homeowners can help water sink into the ground, nourishing landscapes, and naturally infiltrate back into the earth.
The District Department of the Environment and Rock Creek Conservancy are sponsoring a do-it-yourself rebate program to offer District residents $50 for each properly disconnected downspout.