Helping Rain Stay Where It Lands

Helping Rain Stay Where It Lands

A bioretention cell at the Auburn University Sports Surface Research Unit receiving stormwater from an adjacent building. Bioretention cells help rain soak into the ground instead of carrying pollutants to local waterways. They are an inexpensive way to keep our waterways clean and recharge our groundwater supplies. (Photo by Eve Brantley)

“When it rains, it pours.” This phrase is meant to mean that bad news comes in waves. Unfortunately, that’s true with real rain, too. While rain is usually welcome for various reasons, in developed area like cities and towns, it can produce polluted runoff.

Wherever rains lands on traditional human-made surfaces, it can’t soak into the ground. Instead, water from large areas like streets, driveways and roofs collects, looking for lower ground. To deal with this runoff,...

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