From droughts to flooding, Houston experiences pretty diverse weather conditions throughout the year.
While you can’t control how much it rains, you can take steps to manage the affects stormwater has on your landscape. That’s especially important considering the amount of rainfall we get each year.
Houston receives an average rainfall of 52.69 inches a year, which is 35 percent more than the national average and 48 percent more than the average rainfall in Texas, according to WeatherDB.com. And with stormwater comes runoff.
Stormwater runoff can increase the chance of several issues on your property:
- Soil erosion
- Water quality problems
Here are four Houston stormwater management strategies you can incorporate into your commercial property to avoid those issues.
Landscaping and Maintenance
One of the best natural defenses against stormwater runoff is installing plants, such as native grasses, trees, shrubs and flowers.
Foliage will serve as a barrier that slows down and absorbs the water. Make sure you install native plants that can tolerate wet conditions, like inland sea oats, southern wax myrtle and gulf coast muhly.
Place the plants around paved surfaces, and grade the landscaped space so it goes down from the pavement. That will allow the water to flow to the vegetation. You can use colorful foliage and other eye-catching plants to increase the aesthetic value, as well as the practical water-absorbing benefits.
The slope of your landscape can also help manage the stormwater. A slope of 5 percent or less is best to prevent erosion and other water issues.
You also need to keep the landscape well maintained — including mowing, trimming back overgrowth and aerating — to help manage stormwater. Overgrown areas can trap and stall water, leading to constant wet spots
Retention and Detention Ponds
Give stormwater a place to go with a retention or detention pond. A retention pond always has water in it, while a detention pond typically only holds water during and shortly after it rains.
Both types of ponds help prevent flooding from stormwater runoff and improve water quality that leads into nearby streams. You’re responsible for managing the pond and making sure it is up to code, so find a commercial landscaping company that can handle that for you.
They should keep the vegetation around the pond maintained so you can access the pond and spot any issues, like sinkholes or wet areas.
Not all paved surfaces will increase stormwater runoff issues. Permeable pavement actually allows the water to filter through the surface voids and go into an underlying reservoir.
The permeable pavement has a surface layer, stone aggregate reservoir layer underneath that and then some sort of drain on the bottom. The pavement reduces runoff and helps remove pollutants through a filtration process.
The most popular permeable options are interlocking concrete pavers, pervious concrete and porous asphalt. You could use these for sidewalks, parking lots, patios or other hardscaped areas.
Redirect Roof Downspouts
If your building’s gutters and spouts are pouring stormwater onto sidewalks or other paved surfaces, it can damage the building and cause runoff problems. Instead, redirect the spouts so the water flows into landscaped areas.
French drains and catch basins are efficient options that will collect and move the runoff away from your building.
You can also add splash blocks to your spouts to slow down the runoff flow rate and control the direction it runs.
Find a Solution to Stormwater
Having too much stormwater on your commercial property can damage the landscape, buildings and even local water sources.
So, find a professional landscaping company that can create a management strategy that’s unique to your property.
Native Land Design offers commercial irrigation and water management services to HOAs, retail, industrial and municipal sites. Our experienced team will create a game plan to manage stormwater and enhance your property’s appearance.
Native Land Design is a commercial maintenance landscape company located in Houston, Austin and McAllen that offers a full list of services like landscape design, construction, enhancements, maintenance and irrigation.