Stormwater Tour Rescheduled for October

Renewal of Monoosnoc Brook in Leominster is the focus of ongoing collaboration among City officials, businesses and community groups.  One of the positive outcomes are runoff remedies that capture over sixty tons of harmful pollutants a year and continue to improve the Brook.

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Merriam Avenue Rain Garden

On October 19, the Ecological Landscaping Association (ELA) will host “Guiding the Rain: Aesthetic Form – Ecological Function” which offers a tour of varied stormwater solutions.  The tour will begin with brief slideshow at Leominster Library followed by a short walk to see tree filter systems, bioswales, porous pavers and rain gardens beside the brook in downtown Leominster.  After the walking tour, participants will carpool to nearby Granite Stormwater Park and learn about the gravel wetland, infiltration trench and bioretention basin at this site.

Pre-registration is requested – the fee is $22 for ELA members and $32 for non-members.  More details, tour maps and tickets are on ELA’s webpage.

In addition to Monoosnoc Brook, there are diverse Best Management Practices (BMPs) that reduce polluted runoff to other brooks and ponds in Leominster.  A map showing the locations of more than 200 BMPs will be available on the Conservation Commission webpage.  Additional info about this BMP map will be provided at the October 19 tour.

Porous Paving

Permeable paving can be an effective way to improve property and let stormwater seep into the ground.  There are many options including pervious asphalt and concrete, interlocking paving blocks, and systems with gravel or grass to fill spaces in a grid.  Pervious paving offers lots of uses around a home or business, such as driveways, parking areas, patios, walkways and more.  It’s easy to see hundreds of interesting ways to do this by searching online for porous paving images .

The costs for different types of permeable pavements vary.  The Center for Land Use and Education at UConn has a helpful webinar with examples of the uses and costs of permeable pavements.  This video also provides tips about installation and maintenance of pervious paving at http://clear.uconn.edu/webinars/CLEARseries/permeable_pavements.htm

Along with reducing storm runoff, these permeable areas recharge the groundwater that refills streams and lakes during dry times.  Putting stormwater in the ground also helps sustain aquatic life by cooling and cleansing it before it reaches brooks and ponds.

For more details about the benefits of pervious paving, visit the EPA Soak Up The Rain website at http://www.epa.gov/region1/soakuptherain/learnmore.html#PermeablePavement