Your guide to a RAIN Smart Home
Take action to:
- Protect your home and keep your basement dry
- Collect rain water for your gardens
- Protect our drinking water and the Grand River
RAIN Smart Neighbourhoods Project
We are working with Kitchener’s Lakeside and Mount Hope neighbourhoods to improve their readiness for major rain storms or sudden melts. They are receiving support in landscaping and flood proofing their yards while simultaneously capturing and soaking in rain water. By concentrating our efforts in these neighbourhoods, not only will individual homes be ready for rain but collectively the whole neighbourhood will enjoy the benefit of being protected from the cumulative effort. Learn more.
Why should your home be rain smart?
Having a RAIN Smart home is important for several reasons:
- It protects your home and your neighbours’ homes from water damage;
- As our climate changes, we’re experiencing more intense rains that increase the threat of water invading our homes and flooding our neighbourhoods;
- Rain that flows into storm sewers carries pollutants into our rivers and lakes; and,
- You can receive credits on stormwater utility fees in Kitchener and Waterloo.
Start by knowing your property
We advise you to start by understanding where rain water flows on your property. Identify problem spots, such as ground that slopes towards your home, and look for opportunities to direct water to where your property can absorb it.
RAIN Home Visits
REEP Green Solutions offers RAIN Home Visits that gives you a comprehensive review of your property.
RAIN Coach Consultations
Our RAIN Coach is initially concentrating efforts in the two RAIN Smart neighbourhoods in Kitchener as part of a strategy to motivate community action to achieve stormwater abatement. The goal is to deliver 100 coach consultations between the spring of 2017 and the fall of 2018.
Being RAIN Smart means …
… your home includes ideas to slow it down, soak it up and keep it clean.
Ideas to SLOW it Down
Add more trees, shrubs and flowers. The resulting low maintenance landscape helps to manage rain on your property and provides habitat for butterflies, birds and other wildlife.
Use a rain barrel or cistern
Collect rain and store it to water your plants. They love this natural soft water that is free of salt, chlorine and other substances.
Direct rain to where it can soak in
Disconnect any downspouts that feed directly into storm sewers or direct rain down your driveway. Redirect downspouts to an area where it can soak into the ground.
Ideas to SOAK it Up
Add a rain garden to your yard
Beautify your home with a rain garden! These specially designed gardens use a mix of sand, compost and soil to absorb water directed from your home’s downspouts and slowly release it into the ground.
Put in a soakaway (also known as an infiltration gallery)
Soakaways are small underground reservoirs that collect rain from your downspout and allow it to infiltrate into the ground.
Or you might choose a trench featuring a perforated pipe or a pit lined with landscape fabric and filled with stones or specially designed plastic crates.
Choose permeable pavers for your driveway or patio
This alternative to asphalt, concrete or traditional interlocking brick driveways and patios allows water to seep between the pavers into a stone reservoir below that allows it to slowly percolate into the ground.
Tips on Keeping It Clean
- Use less fertilizer for grass and plants.
- Be smart about salt. Choose alternatives and learn how to avoid using it.
- Pick up pet waste and put it into your green bin or a pet waste composter.
- Place cigarette butts in the garbage.
- Clean your vehicle at a car wash.
You could be eligible to save on stormwater fees
In Kitchener and Waterloo, each property owner is charged a stormwater fee based on how much hard surface is on their property.
You can save up to 45% of your fee by making your home rain ready with options such as those we share here.
Advice on dealing with moisture in your basement
If moisture gets into your basement, you must deal with it if you want to insulate it or use it as a livable space says our Home Energy Coach. Learn more.