Storm Water Site Design: Integrating Landscape Architecture

Public Works Resource
August 16, 2013 — 4,198 views  
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Due to recurring drought and storm conditions, potable water for landscapes seems to be increasingly unviable. Most people tend to wastefully irrigate their gardens with water, which is mostly used for human consumption. Through integrated landscape designs, we can arrive at comprehensive approaches to sustainable storm water designing and building. The usage of sustainable and residential landscape architecture as well as its practices can help improve water efficiency and also decrease the usage of energy.

Integrated site designs can be used as a framework for increasing the built environment’s quality and also involves making the existing natural system better in terms of water usage and storm water quality treatment. These designs usually leverage the numerous benefits of the natural systems, and significantly cut down the usage along with the need for centrally distributed water, by using the various landscape architecture designs. Homeowners can also promote the storing, zero runoff infiltration and recycling of storm water, thereby limiting the usage of precious potable water.                                                                              

Natural Storm Water Management Designs

Homeowners can easily reuse and recycle storm water for landscape maintenance, toilet flushing and even car washing. These can be done so in the form of rainwater gardens, bioswales ponds, drip irrigation systems, and sustainable water recycling units. Homes including these natural storm water management designs and technologies helps remove, as well as infiltrate pollutants, leading to better storm water runoff management.

Along with this, these natural landscape architectures help reduce the immense amount of energy used while running other complex storm water management systems. Centralized storm water management techniques related to water utilities are considered to be very heavy energy users in most local areas and must be avoided. Even local governments in most cities are partnering with non-profit companies and organizations in order to increase awareness regarding the usage of landscape architectures for sustainable storm water treatment.

Landscape Architecture and Site Design Help with Reducing Nonpoint Source Runoff

If you are looking at reducing the volume of nonpoint source runoff of storm water, you can do so by utilizing various innovative methods introduced through the integrations of site design and landscape architecture. This is necessary as it helps reduce the pollutant discharges and sewer overflows, which is what most landscape architects and environmental specialists are helping the public understand.

Green Storm Water Systems

Another alternative that has a combination of landscape architecture and site design is a green storm water system. These infrastructures mainly include a wide range of water-soil-plant systems. The systems are used to intercept the storm water and cut the runoff. The system infiltrates a portion of the storm water into the earth and then evaporates.

In some of the cases, the green storm water system also helps release storm water  slowly into the sewer system. Most of the landscape architects are in favor of this decision in order to make better use of the storm water and avoid destruction as well as pollution of other water bodies.

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