University of Vermont

Cultivating Healthy Communities

Stormwater Diversion Practices Benefit Vermont Water Quality

Advances have been made in methods for treating stormwater pollution, the fastest-growing threat to Vermont's water quality. Both rain and snow melt pick up sediment which can impair surface waters but rain gardens and buffer strips provide simple solutions to managing this runoff.

Lake Champlain Sea Grant staff worked with two communities to address runoff by providing on-site guidance and technical assistance, building five roadside rain gardens in one community, and one rain garden and an infiltration trench in the other to control runoff from an impervious tennis court surface.

The community with the five roadside rain gardens had 8.49 inches of rain last year and treated 25,308 square feet of impervious surface, displacing 120,379 gallons of storm water. The tennis court produces 7,200 gallons of water for every one-inch rain event. Small -- but significant -- efforts such as these divert hundreds of thousands gallons of sediment-filled storm runoff from further threatening Vermont water quality.

Contact: Jurij Homziak, Watershed Management Specialist/Lake Champlain Sea Grant Executive Director, 802-656-0682,