Carolina Clear sponsors programs across the state
By Peter Hull
South Carolinians are becoming more aware of the effects of their homes and yards on nearby water bodies. Carolina Clear, Clemson’s stormwater education and awareness program, teaches homeowners, youth, builders and government officials about responsible water management.
Recent rain garden workshops were held in Pickens and Georgetown counties, and included instruction on local water quality, stormwater management and the principles of rain garden design.
Correctly constructed rain gardens allow stormwater runoff to slowly infiltrate the groundwater table. Rain gardens absorb excess nitrogen and phosphorous in stormwater and trap sediment while biological processes filter out other pollutants.
Rain barrel workshops, held in Columbia, Sumter and Hartsville, provided information on water pollution, water harvesting, and rain barrel function, design and construction. Each participant built a rain barrel to take home. More workshops are planned in the fall.
Rain barrels reuse rainwater to irrigate gardens and lawns, water plants and wash cars. They benefit the environment by reducing stormwater flow, which causes erosion and can carry pollutants from yards and streets into streams. A 1,000-square-foot roof catches more than 600 gallons of water from just an inch of rainfall.