Natural Stormwater Management

Stormwater Management — For Your Yard And Your Town
At Spadefoot, ecological restoration and stormwater management go hand in hand.  Stormwater can only be properly managed within the context of native plantings.  A healthy local soil biome, combined with the complex webs that native plantings form in creating a habitat, will greatly outperform those plantings where the plant’s native range and habitat aren’t taken into consideration.

Stormwater issues are often the outgrowth of local landscaping practices.   A typical flat and treeless suburban lawn has the absorptive capacity of concrete.  A rain comes, and with, increasingly, curbs being hardscaped, streets are soon inundated.

If people just went as far as not raking up their leaves, our stormwater issues would be significantly less.  The organic material in the leaves holds the water and gradually releases into the soil.   Mulched leaves are great for the soil.  Grass clippings even more so.  Sadly, all this ends up in black plastic bags at the town dump.   The lawn starves.  People dump fertilizer on them, and so it goes.

When Spadefoot designs a bioswale, it is with the understanding that the native plants and organic material will act to filter out the excess fertilizers and road contaminants from the runoff.

On a larger scale, a sump can be replanted to create native bird habitat where the stormwater from the outflow pipe connected to the street drains can be properly slowed and filtered, recharging the aquifer with cleaner water.

The over-engineered stormwater management systems built in the past are no longer sufficient.   Many need to be replaced with more natural ways of stormwater management, where the water is channeled strategically through our native plantings.

When a native landscape is reworked into suburban yards, roads or shopping malls, inevitably, stormwater management becomes an issue.   Water will be pushed away from the construction and down into pipes and drains where it drains into a sump.  There are 800 in Nassau County and at least that many in Suffolk.  The water has to go somewhere.

These sumps have become invasive-choked nightmares that only poorly perform their primary purpose — to recharge the aquifer.  Returning the natives restores their physical function, and of course their biological function.   A sump, with proper stormwater management and with native plantings in the form of a meadow or swamp forest, can become a vibrant nature sanctuary.

We don’t consider nearly enough the adverse effects of stormwater runoff for our bays, rivers, and ponds.   There is a maze of pipes, some corroded and clogged underneath the ground along our streets, and with a good rain, a torrent of water is produced.  It is crucial that this water is slowed down so it does not scour things out.  The initial water especially will need to be filtered because that first water will be the most polluted.  For that you will need a planting strategy.

For the home, Spadefoot will analyze your property’s hydrology — where water flows on it and beneath it — in order to build out the proper planting and stormwater management design.  By creating constructed wetlands, native “swamp forests,” by converting sumps into bird sanctuaries, Spadefoot is able to harness nature to heal nature.

Our bioswales capture stormwater runoff, naturally then process it with the root systems of the native plantings, protecting local water bodies and bringing beauty to your property and community. Our bioswales will help address your flooding issues from Day One. Over time, as the plants grow and mature, the bioswale becomes more and more effective — and beautiful, a haven for butterflies, bees and birds.

Whether you are a municipality or private landowner contending with street flooding, with runoff entering local ponds, streams and bays, or a homeowner who seems to get all the water when it rains, we can design and implement a mitigation strategy that incorporates local native plants and restores ecological balance.