Determine Maintenance Requirements

There are many different techniques for capturing rainwater, each requiring different levels of maintenance.

This general information will give you an idea of what to expect:

  • Recycling green waste: Fallen, dead or damaged leaves and branches can be processed into mulch. Mulch can then be spread in swales, under hedges, on berms, around trees and in planting beds. Soft stems, leaves and flowers can be composted.
  • Cisterns: If vector or bacteria problems are of concern, stored water may require treatment with chlorine or mosquito dunks. Occasional cleaning of the cistern is also advised, as are inspections to ensure that air and light do not enter the cistern. Measures to prevent development of algae are recommended if sunlight penetrates the cistern.
  • Driveway drywells: The driveway grate may quickly fill with leaves and sediment and must be cleared regularly. Since its function is to absorb pollutants from the driveway, the drywell's sand and crushed rock filling should be inspected before the rainy season to prevent clogging and reduced infiltration. If the water level does not drop in the days following a storm, the drywell may be clogged and the sand and crushed rock filling may need to be replaced.
  • First-flush units: The decanter component must be emptied regularly to create room for the first-flush of the next storm. This is done by opening a valve at the bottom and letting the water run out onto the lawn.
  • Swales: swales should be monitored and mulch replenished as needed. In grassy swales, turf should be mowed during the growing season.
  • Retention grading: Retention grading should be inspected for sediment accumulation or loss and appropriate maintenance done after moderate or heavy storm events. Berms should be inspected and any necessary repairs performed.