b'Tips for decreasing household surface runoffproblems:Where impermeable surfaces are already Minimize the creation of new impervious in place, divert rain from the pavedsurfaces.Use special paving stones instead of surfaces onto grass or into vegetation to concrete, groundcover instead of grass, gravel allow gradual absorption.and pervious pavement instead of standard as-phalt.The classic Cape Cod driveway features Preserve established trees and shrubs crushed quahog shells.and plant new ones to encourage excess Avoid using chemical fertilizers, but if you feel rainwater to fi lter slowly into the soil.you must, use slow-release fertilizers with low Plant and maintain a vegetated buff ernitrogen, low phosphate content and follow strip at the top of steep slopes anddirections as stated on the package for proper along water bodies in consultation withapplication rate. the Conservation CommissionInstall gravel trenches along driveways Minimize lawn areas and plant more native to collect water and allow it to fi lter plants.Native species require less maintenance into the soil. because they are adapted to Cape soils and conditions and are pest resistant and drought When removing unhealthy trees, leavetolerant, thereby reducing the need for fertilizer the stump and roots in place to hold theand pesticide use. soil. Dont throw yard debris, grass clippings or Pick up litter and animal waste, and keepChristmas trees over banks or onto dunes or your car in good shape to avoid leaks. beaches; they smother the natural vegetation that holds the soil in place, can introduce inva-Use grass-lined swales, berms and basinssive species into natural areas, and contribute to control runoffon your property, re- to excess nutrients or yard chemicals.Chatham duce its speed, and increase the time overhas a composting program at the Transfer Sta-which the runoffis released. tion where you can dump yard debris where it will be recycled into mulch which in turn is Be sure downspouts from gutters directmade available free to residents. rainwater in such a manner that it does not directly discharge over a bank to aIf you build a new home, ask your builder to wetland.leave as much of the original vegetation as pos-sible on site.Before the start of construction make sure that strawbales and silt fences are Alternatives to Asphalt and Concrete installed around the work site to contain sedi-ment and control erosion.Around properties, many hard surfaces, or impervious surfaces are used such as asphalt, cement, etc. when softer surfaces are preferable to protect our water quality. There are many paving surfaces that provide the durability of concrete while allowing rainwater to soak into the ground.Bricks and fl at stones, for instance, make an attractive, durable driveway and, if placed on well-drained soil or on a sand or gravel bed, allow rainwater to fi lter into the ground.Wood decks, usually installed for their functional good looks, can also serve as a form of porous pavement. Redwood and cedar, for example, are as durable as most other paving surfaces. The space between the deck boards allows rainwater to drain directly onto the soil surface and soak into the ground. Maintaining a distance between the soil surface and the decking will minimize the risk of wood rot. Other new porous materials are also becoming available.Page 40 bluepages.indd 40 8/26/2009 1:52:00 PM'