This month, our goal is to encourage the community to reduce the amount of water that runs off yards into streets, storm drains, ditches, and streams and eventually makes it way to the Bay. This is known as “runoff” and significantly impairs water quality as the water flow brings sediment and other pollutants into Maunalua Bay untreated.
Redirecting runoff (e.g., by redirecting downspouts) to landscaped areas naturally filters runoff,
helping to decrease the amount of pollutants, such as trash, dirt, oil, and metals that get
transported downstream to our waterways.
In March, we will be focusing on simple changes that will reduce runoff from your downspout.
WHAT'S A DOWNSPOUT?
A downspout is a pipe that carries rainwater from a roof to a drain
or to ground level. They are important tools in preventing home water damage but often re-direct the rainwater to impervious surfaces (driveways, storm drains, streets) contributing to polluted runoff
MONTHLY ACTION ASK
Assess the downspouts on your property and then take action to make them more environmentally friendly. This can be done by (see below):
Runoff Pollution in Hawaii
Made some changes to your downspout? Awesome! Snap a pic and:
How to Redirect Your Downspout:
There are several options for how to redirect, reroute, or relocate your downspout depending on your property.
1. If your downspout disappears into the ground, thereby connected to the City’s storm drainage system, disconnect it.
Ideally, disconnected downspouts should direct water into a rain barrel, rain garden, catchment, or other green area of your property. Adding an extension elbow can help.
2. Install a downspout outlet protection, a structure at the outlet of the downspout that reduces the initial impact of the runoff before it hits the ground. Common examples include splash blocks (pictured below) and rock dissipaters.
3. Turn your downspout away from driveway or other paved area toward grass/vegetated area. This ensures that rainwater enters pervious surfaces where it can be filtered.
4. Replace the downspout with a rain chain that terminates above a garden or grassy area. Widely used in Japan, rain chains come in all different shapes and sizes and provide a plain gutter downspout, guiding rain into water features and gardens.
Some get creative with their
Downspout redirection or rain chains help conserve water and are a great "do it yourself" home improvement project.
Benefits to redirecting your downspout:
Disconnecting or redirecting a downspout reduces the volume of stormwater and pollutants entering storm drains. Water quality and personal benefits of downspout disconnection include:
•Reducing flooding and erosion
•Protecting your home from water damage
Live in a condominium, apartment, or homeowners association, please ask the Board or land lord to consider this critical action.
If your house is happy with the set-up of your downspouts, help a neighbor, friend, or family member evaluate their system and implement the best management option(s)
Look at all the Storm Drains in East Oahu
Visit this interactive map to find the storm drain nearest your property.
[Please be patient as it takes time to load the data. It works best to zoom out first and then pan over to the East Oahu region.
Note on this map:
• Catch basin - also known as a storm drain or curb inlet, it can be a round structure (older) or a rectangular box (newer).
• Manhole - is a round, concrete structure typically ranging in diameter from 4 feet to 8 feet to allow access for underground pipe maintenance; they don’t affect Bay health
• Inlet/Outlet are the point where water flows from the underground network of pipes into stream channels, ditches, and/or bay.
• The maps does not include the hundreds of catch basins that line Kalanaianaole Highwayand are operated by Department of Transportation.