Garden Feature

Rain Gardens

Rain Gardens (also known as bio-swales) are a great way to help protect our local watersheds. A Rain Garden is essentially a shallow depression in your yard designed to capture and temporarily store rain water run off. This runoff comes from impervious surfaces such as roofs, driveways and patios and allow it to soak into the ground. They are usually heavily planted because plants help to soak up excess water and reduce pollutants.

Most often rain gardens are connected to your downspout to collect roof water as this is the easiest way to re-direct water into a rain garden. Rain water runoff washes away pollutants that can potentially enter our local watersheds. Managing storm water on-site by letting it naturally filter in the ground is a great way to reduce water pollution.

Some neighborhoods of Portland have a combined sewer storm water system and all of it must be sent to a water treatment plant before being released into the river. Disconnecting your downspouts into a rain garden (or other permeable surface) will lessen the load on the wastewater treatment system potentially reducing your carbon footprint. It also reduces the chances of a sewage overflow event into the river during heavy rains.