Sustainable Solutions

There are a variety of methods that can be used to create a sustainable watershed. These methods can range from simple things that can be done around the house to more complex land use techniques. However, all of these techniques are intended to do one or more of these things:

• Slow down stormwater – slowing down stormwater helps ease erosion to streams. This also allows more time for vegetation to absorb water and filter out contaminants.

• Spread out stormwater – spreading out stormwater also helps reduce stormwater velocity and the need for new infrastructure to manage stormwater.

• Soak up stormwater – vegetation helps soak up stormwater which not only reduces the flow of water but also filters contaminants out of the water before water enters streams.

Choose a category below

Learn ways to bring sustainable solutions into your home or business.

Solutions for Your Home

  Benefit(s) Things you can do today!
Redirect downspouts on gutters towards vegetated areas
  • Slows down stormwater
  • Filters contaminants
Harvest rainwater in a rain barrel and use it to water your yard.
  • Slows down stormwater
  • Conserves water
Bag or compost raked leaves (rather than blowing them into storm drain)
  • Reduces contaminants
When working on vehicles at home, properly dispose of automotive fluids. Don't let them fall onto the driveway.
  • Reduces contaminants
Use permeable pavement on driveway or landscape projects.
  • Slows down stormwater
  • Reduces contaminants
When mowing your yard, leave grass clippings in your grass or bag them up in a trash bag.
  • Reduces contaminants from fertilizers
Build a rain garden to filter out stormwater from your property.
  • Filters contaminants
  • Slow down stormwater
Pick up pet waste
  • Reduces contaminants

Solutions for Your Business

Under construction, check back soon!

Solutions for Governments

In addition to the solutions mentioned in the table below, SARA encourages governments to incorporate the following sustainable land use methods when planning capital improvement projects:

Low Impact Development (LID): LID projects are engineered systems that manage stormwater as close to the ground as possible, replicates the pre-development hydrology of the site and maintains pre-development flow conditions in a watershed.

There are many LID techniques that can be selected for use, and studies have shown tht utilizing these techinques actually can result in savings over the life of a project. For a brief listing of LID techniques, refer to this brochure produced by the Nature Conservancy.

Green Infrastructure (GI): Green Infrastructure is often incorporated into LID design.  GI involves recognizing the roles green spaces play in cleaning stormwater, slowing the flow of water across the land, and reducing the volume of flow through infiltration—and then incorporating GI into stormwater management plans.  GI is often a component of LID design. 

Natural Channel Design: Stream channel erosion and the deposition of sediments are natural processes that can become problematic with urbanization and/or development.  These human activities can result in increased quantities of fast-flowing runoff entering and affecting our waterways.   Natural Channel Design is a stream restoration method that assesses these increased pressures and restores stability to stream channels.     For more information about Natural Channel Design, click here

Update UDC to encourage sustainable development
  • Allows residents, businesses and developers to implement sustainable development techniques more efficiently
Encourage citizens to pick up pet waste
  • Reduces bacteria
Discourage feeding of animals in natural areas
  • Reduces bacteria
  • Reduces bank erosion
Encourage conservation easements
  • Preserves open green space
  • Preserves natural hydrolics and of land
  • Reduces non-point source pollution

Solutions for New Development and Remodeling

SARA supports the use of Low Impact Development (LID) and Green Infrastructure (GI) techniques when planning for new development and remodeling. For definitions of these methods see the Solutions for Government section above.

SARA also supports the use of Conservation Development for new residential and business developments. Conservation Development maximizes use of open space and vistas, helps preserve water quality through the implementation of LID techniques and protects ecosystems. For more information on Conservation Development,visit this website (page may take a few minutes to load).