News Column

Parking Lot Rain Garden Landscaping Protects Our Water

May 14 2013 12:00AM

Marketwire

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MILPITAS, CALIFORNIA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/14/13 -- Yes, there are solutions to the water pollution created by parking lot runoff that winds its way through drainage systems, rivers, lakes, canals, and, at some point, into our water glasses. Water contamination has to be tackled at the source - in the parking lots themselves - and one of the answers to the problem can be with the addition of rain gardens and self-sustaining landscaping.

A TV short aired by the Knowledge Network in April 2013 described the problem and its management very well: our waterways are becoming increasingly polluted with oil, gas, anti-freeze, toxic cleaners, paint, and other chemicals that accumulate in parking lots, construction sites, and streets; as well as with fertilizers and pesticides used to enhance landscaping.

The TV cameras zeroed in on concerned citizens who had learned about the benefits of rain gardens to help control water pollution and were introducing the concept in the Seattle, Washington, community of North Ridge, with the goal of constructing 12,000 such gardens. Many other communities across the country are becoming involved in similar programs as citizens learn that rain gardens help manage storm water runoff and can protect our water sources.

"We offer our clients rain garden landscaping in an effort to help them reduce water pollution from parking lot runoff and to help absorb overflow after a storm," said Gina Vella, President, Universal Site Services. "I think it's wonderful that so many people are becoming involved in the management of storm water runoff."

Rain gardens are shallow depressions about 12 or more inches deep filled with compost that will collect and filter storm water and parking lot runoff so that the water is cleaned naturally. As well, the rain gardens are landscaped with attractive vegetation, which grows well in the composted-enhanced, nutrient-rich soil.

"We calculate the size and number of rain gardens needed to support the runoff from parking lot surfaces and the best location for them," Mrs. Vella added, "and our company specializes in providing self-sustaining, native vegetation to reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides so that we don't add to the pollution problem.

Plant species native to an area are self-sustaining because they have a natural protection against local weather conditions and insect infestations. Exotic, non-native plants usually require the protection of herbicides and fertilizers for survival.

Companies that landscape their parking lots with well-placed rain gardens covered with native plants provide three-way protection for the community: the rain gardens filter toxins from runoff, diminish overflow after heavy storms, and reduce the amount of herbicides and fertilizers that are washed into our water.

It's one of the easier solutions to the problem of parking lot runoff.

About Universal Site Services

Universal Site Services is a full service property maintenance and site services company serving clients in California, Arizona, and Nevada. Founded in 1958, Universal is one of the largest family-owned, full-service outdoor maintenance companies on the West Coast. Universal was one of the inventors of the regenerative air parking lot sweeper. Services include parking lot sweeping pressure washing, day porter, landscaping, property maintenance and graffiti removal. For more information about Universal, please visit www.universalsiteservices.com or call: 800-647-9337.



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Contacts:
Doug Hay & Associates
Doug Hay
877-226-3823
doug@doughayassoc.com
www.universalsiteservices.com





Source: Marketwire