Wet weather proves to be boon for SFA Rain Gardens - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Wet weather proves to be boon for SFA Rain Gardens

Dr. Matthew McBroom and graduate student Shradhda Dnawli gather water samples. (Source: KTRE Staff) Dr. Matthew McBroom and graduate student Shradhda Dnawli gather water samples. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Native plants filter harmful pollutants from parking lot runoff.  (Source: KTRE Staff) Native plants filter harmful pollutants from parking lot runoff. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Native plants filter harmful pollutants from parking lot runoff. (Source: KTRE Staff) Native plants filter harmful pollutants from parking lot runoff. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

The sound of rain might have tempted you to roll over and go back to sleep this morning, but for some the storms were a motivation to get to work.

Monday turned out to be a perfect day for a group of Stephen F. Austin State University students and their rain gardens.

Dr. Matthew McBroom, an SFA forest hydrologist, and graduate student Shradhada Dnawli a rainy day is the best time to gather data at rain gardens.

“What we do is compare the in-flow water quality from Raguet Elementary's roof and parking lot complex here with the out flow water quality, so these rain gardens function like a big filter,” McBride said.

Rain gardens also collect runoff from the Tucker House and the Music Preparatory Building.

“It's part of the whole sustainability mission of the Pineywoods Native Plant Center,” McBroom said.

The plants are removing contaminants from the rain water before it reaches nearby creeks.

“We have brake dust, oil leaks and things like that that get deposited on the parking lot,” McBroom said.

The study intrigues Dnawli.

The Nepal native is all about protecting water resources.

“There have been severe water shortages there,” Dnawli said. “I feel good that we can do something in this field."

The rain garden concept can also be applied by homeowners and businesses.

Homeowners intrigued with the idea of a water gardens may be concerned about mosquitoes. Well, this particular garden drains in two to three days, reducing the chance of mosquito breeding.

If they are constructed with native plants, as the SFA Rain Gardens are, they require relatively little upkeep, allowing for a rainy day savings.

The rain garden study is in its third year. As the plants grow and establish larger root systems, the gardens' effectiveness improves.

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