What is Rainwater Harvesting? Why is it Important in Asheville?

When you hear the phrase “rainwater harvesting,” you likely think of collecting rain in barrels to later use in the home for various tasks. But, when we talk about rainwater harvesting, it’s something different. What we do is far more useful than collecting rain to water your houseplants. We use natural stonework as a means of stormwater management. This allows you to have beautiful landscaping features while naturally capturing rainwater in a way that will help prevent soil erosion and maintain gardens or vegetation in other areas of your yard.

Why is Rainwater Harvesting Important?

To understand the benefits of rainwater harvesting, you first have to understand the problems that unmanaged stormwater can cause. Due to urban development, there are far more impervious surfaces like building roofs and pavement that prevent rainwater from being able to soak naturally into the ground. Instead, the water has nowhere to go, which can cause puddling, flooding, and soil erosion for homeowners, and far worse issues in urban areas including infrastructure damage, sewer system overflowing, and contaminated rivers, streams, and coastal waters.

In residential areas, it’s important to provide a means of runoff for rainwater. Otherwise, you run the risk of having soil carried away from structures, landscaping features, and other areas of your yard where it’s important to have the support of the soil. What happens in those situations can be destructive because as the rainwater tries to drain without any intentional runoff paths, it will create its own flowing channels that pick up force and speed. This flow causes the soil to be carried away to wherever the water collects or to ground where the water is able to be absorbed. This can ruin landscapes, destroy gardens and natural vegetation, and cause damage to the foundations of structures.

These issues are especially important in areas like Asheville where there is abundant development and urban growth, as well as abundant precipitation. The Asheville metropolitan area gets an average of 37 inches of rainfall and about 13 inches of snow each year. That’s more than enough stormwater to cause damage if it isn’t managed.

How Does Stonework Work for Rainwater Harvesting?

Natural stonework that is effectively designed and installed can prevent this damage from happening. It works by channeling the stormwater to areas of the yard with more efficient drainage or vegetation that can utilize the water, maintaining the integrity of your landscaping. It can also be designed to collect in landscaping fixtures like waterfalls, fountains, and ponds. These landscaping additions are not only beautiful and tranquil, they also can serve as part of your rainwater capture plan. The water collected there can be used or directed to other yard areas where it’s needed.

Soil erosion is an unwanted by-product of ineffective rainwater control. One of the best stonework structures for preventing soil erosion is the retaining wall. These walls can be designed and installed in a manner that ensures that soils stays where you want it. Retaining walls are ideal for properties that have sloping landscapes or hillsides, where the walls are installed in a manner that creates level terraces where you can plant gardens or native vegetation. Retaining walls can also serve as additions to your rainwater harvesting plan, as part of a new path for water to flow around to get to capture sites.

Using Natural Stone Landscaping for Rainwater Harvesting

Landscaping features that are constructed using natural stone will provide both form and function to your property. Natural stonework is very versatile, with many different sizes, shapes, and colors of stone to work with. Whether you are having retaining walls, walkways, or drainage paths installed, you will be able to choose what the finished product will look like. And you can rest assured that the structures or features you have installed will be durable, low-maintenance, and attractive.

Besides being aesthetically appealing, natural stonework provides effective rainwater harvesting methods. Stormwater can be redirected to reach areas of your yard or garden that need the water, and away from the areas where it can cause problems by washing away soil.

At Ambrose Landscapes, we have expert designers and craftsmen to help you. We know the Asheville area – the geography and the climate – so we can provide you with the most effective means for rainwater harvesting and soil erosion prevention. Consider natural stone features installed by Ambrose Landscapes for your next landscaping project and you’ll get both form and function. Let us help you preserve the natural beauty and integrity of your property with our stone rainwater control solutions. Get started with a quote.