Downspouts directed toward natural areas slow runoff and help water soak into the ground. When downspouts are pointed toward paved areas (like a driveway or street) or are connected with underground pipes directly to the storm sewer system, water isn’t able to soak into the ground. Water moves very quickly from roofs to local streams, causing erosion and destroying sensitive stream habitat.
Redirecting water to vegetated areas like rain gardens or conservation landscapes, or to underground gravel storage areas like dry wells, will help reduce the volume of runoff and amount of pollutants washed into the storm drain. Another environmentally sound alternative is to direct water into a cistern or rain barrel for washing or irrigation uses.
Before Disconnecting Your Downspout
- The extension should end at least 3 feet from the basement foundation and be directed toward a downward slope.
- As ice can form during cold weather, don’t direct runoff to areas that are frequent pathways.
- The completed project should be a permanent solution that is beneficial to your grass, flowers, shrubbery and trees.
- Firmly anchored splash blocks should be installed if the downspout drainage is traveling over landscape or dirt.