Our park’s rain garden helps to save the river
While strolling around our new park, you might have noticed this landscaped depression near the mural.
This is a rain garden. The storm drains within the park empty into this garden so the ground has an opportunity to absorb rainwater. Obviously there’s a limit to what the ground can absorb in a downpour, so the grate at the bottom of the photo carries the overflow into the sewers.
Under each street in areas of the city built before 1900 is a single pipe that carries both sewage and storm water. The problem with this combined system is that heavy rain storms force the combined system to overflow at 53 discharge points into Rock Creek, the Potomac, and the Anacostia.
Building these rain gardens helps alleviate the pressure on the sewer system during storms and thus helps protect the water quality of our rivers.