Storm Water Management

Managing storm water helps to improve the quality of watersheds and reduces the demand for local governments to collect and treat water. Green spaces, like green roofs, absorb storm water, provide habitat for birds and insects and can cool urban temperatures.

At Local Government House

Local Government House provides a highly effective storm water management system. Given that the site was formerly an asphalt-covered parking lot, the redevelopment as a LEED Gold candidate building has been a remarkable improvement.

The green roof is the largest entry point for storm water. The roof is planted with water-efficient, drought-tolerant and native grasses, shrubs and ground cover, and rainwater can permeate directly into the soil.  Next, cisterns are buried on-site and collect run-off that the green roof is unable to absorb. This water is used during summer months to irrigate the landscaping. The capacity of the cisterns provide enough rainwater for all irrigation needs – meaning Local Government House will not rely on CRD water for irrigation once all landscaping is established.

Finally, if the cisterns overflow, the water will enter the rain garden. This garden is a natural basin of dirt, rocks and gravel that will hold and absorb run-off from the roof and from the pervious pavers on the driveway and walkways. The rain garden also accepts discharge from the building sump that gathers storm water from the perimeter drains. The garden allows water to naturally disperse into the surrounding groundwater and ensures that storm water will only enter the municipal storm drain when there is more rain than the roof, cisterns and garden can handle – and after it has been naturally filtered.

In Your Community

  • Consider green roofs, cisterns, rain gardens, swales as part of Storm Water Management Plans and policies – for both local government buildings and local developments.
  • Provide community education and incentives for rain barrels.
  • Consider the use of storm water for indoor water needs – such as flushing toilets.
  • Protect storm water during construction by using temporary and permanent seeding, mulching, earth dikes, silt fencing, sediment traps and sediment basins.

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