Storm Water Management a serious topic.

Did you know that when it comes to Storm Water Management we are going back in time? Over the last few years the State of Washington has enacted strict laws in how we handle storm water. A simple way to look at the requirements is as if when rain falls, the water is to drain on the land for which it falls. The idea is to keep the water on site and have it drain naturally into the water table, just like it did prior to civilization.

When subdividing raw land into buildable lots, a developer will hire a team to analyze how to handle storm water (rain, melting snow). You probably have seen storm ponds in subdivisions. These are designed to handle water and allow it to discharge into the ground over time naturally. Most of the water that goes into the storm ponds is water from the sidewalks and streets. Your home has different rules.

When we build homes we must not alter what was designed into the subdivision. We have to understand how the storm water is handled and then design accordingly. Every lot has its own characteristics. Lot coverage being one of them.

In many cases a home structure can only cover 45% of the lot. For example, lets say you have a lot that is 5000 square feet, the home and covered patio or covered porches can only take up 2250 square feet. Limiting you to what you can build.

How a roof and foundation drainage system is designed is directly tied to Storm Water Management. It wasn’t that long ago that you could either run splash blocks or pipe the water to the street. Not anymore. Drywells (in ground infiltration systems) are the norm. The idea is to keep the water draining on the lot not into a centralized storm water system.

Next week we will discuss erosion control.

Please submit questions to Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!