Every Drop: a stormwater capture program

Every Drop Logo - individual-03

The Every Drop program is a stormwater Best Management Practices initiative that will help homeowners install rain barrels, rain gardens, trees, and native gardens with technical expertise and installation assistance at a greatly reduced cost. Apply today! Please send completed applications to tim@kwalliance.org

The more rain we capture and infiltrate where it falls, the better the water quality of Beargrass Creek.

Background

The Beargrass Creek Watershed is over 30% impervious surface. This means that each time it rains, pollutants from the ground are washed into the creek. Further, this imperviousness increases the volume of water that can’t sink into the ground, and thus runs off. These two phenomena together have created a significant stormwater pollution issue in the watershed. It puts a tremendous burden on our infrastructure and stresses the watershed environment.

Capturing rainwater onsite is one of the best things we can do to help clean up Beargrass. A typical rain event in the Louisville area averages approximately 1/3 of an inch of rain. Falling on the roof of a 1,500 sq. ft. home, this creates 312 gallons of runoff. This amount could be reduced by more than a third with the installation of a rain barrel on a downspout in the front and back yard. A 500 sq. ft. rain garden could eliminate the runoff of 935 gallons of runoff in 24-48 hours – the equivalent of a one inch rain event!

How you can get involvedEvery Drop_rain barrel

The potential impact of the Every Drop program on stormwater pollution is enormous. The program works with homeowners (or renters with landlord consent) to install Best Management Practices on residential properties. A careful review of other programs in the region reveals that financial assistance alone is not enough to motivate concerned citizens. It is the technical expertise and individual attention built into this program that will make it successful. The program works like this: A homeowner applies to the program and a “stormwater audit” is conducted with BCA members, project partners, and the homeowner. Together they will decide on which practice is most suitable for the location and homeowner, and then install the selected practice. The participant will receive instruction on maintenance and care, including a follow up visit the next year. Additionally, yard signage will be provided to inform neighbors.

There is no minimum or maximum size, shape, or location for house or lot – it just needs to be in the Beargrass Creek Watershed. Not all applicants will be approved, and not all Best Management Practices are suitable for all sites. Total cost estimates will be discussed before work begins. Please note that this program is not intended to mitigate flooding or drainage issues; it is to promote better water quality for the creek.

Short term goals of this project include creating a cost-share program within the Beargrass Creek Watershed. Long term goals include improving water quality in Beargrass Creek, reducing stormwater runoff across the watershed, and promoting stormwater-friendly landscaping across the watershed.