What to Do with All That Water?

That was the question!

In the past months, I’ve been asking that question all over the place:

…Going back to the report from a 2011 property water audit by Blue Water Baltimore, which identified some of the sources of the water and laid out preliminary ways to address them: more rain barrels, new rain gardens, permeable pavement…

A berm and baby-trench adjoining my spiral garden, to catch water from a sidewalk low point and direct it into the rain garden
A berm and baby trench adjoining my spiral garden, to catch water from a sidewalk low point and direct it into the rain garden

…Brainstorming permaculture solutions with Eric Kelly of Charm City Farms…we came up with ideas for hugelkultur berms to hold and store the water while supporting my arc of fruit trees and bushes; a series of swales to capture the water as it moved across my yard; and raised beds for my poor vegetable garden, preventing the veggie plants from sitting in water-logged, sour soil….

…Listening to the municipal engineering perspective from surveyor Michael Molz and his team from Shrewsbury, PA: seeing the havoc the water was wreaking on my basement as it sluiced across the backyard, they suggested concrete swales directing the water off the property and into the stormwater system….

…And finally doing what I should have done long ago: take it to my neighbors. This wasn’t my problem alone: we all live downstream, we all live upstream. That water came from somewhere, and it most certainly went somewhere after it crossed my property. A simple Facebook query on the community page sparked responses…evidently it was a question waiting to be asked.

So now it’s a community discussion….and I can’t wait to see the wealth of resources this community can bring to bear on a shared problem.

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