Water Management (Outdoor)
REEP House has several unique features addressing water management and sustainable landscaping, including drought tolerant native plants, rainwater harvesting, permeable paving and a rain garden.
Drought Tolerant Native Plants
The gardens at REEP House are xeriscaped so that no municipally supplied water is needed for watering or maintenance.
This means that plants in the front and back yard gardens have been specifically chosen for their low maintenance and drought tolerance. They require no pesticide, fertilizer or city water to thrive.
Most are native to this area, restoring wildlife habitat to the city.
There are 2 cisterns installed at REEP House that collectively hold 1900L of rainwater. They are designed to capture the majority of the roof runoff from a heavy rainfall. The harvested water will be used for watering our outdoor plants and will also be plumbed into REEP House for re-use in our Grey Water System.
Infiltration Gallery (aka Soakaway Pit)
In the event a cistern reaches capacity and overflows, the excess water is channeled into an infiltration gallery that temporarily stores the water underground. The water can then percolate into the ground quickly and recharge the groundwater instead of causing flooding or flowing into the municipal storm sewer system. To learn more about the issues around stormwater runoff please visit our RAIN program page.
Soakaway Pit Products: AquaBlox® manufactured by Aquascape
The driveway and parking area feature permeable unit pavers. They are linked to a drainage and filtration system with a bio filter layer which deals with potentially harmful runoff, thus protecting a nearby surface drainage creek.
We like to say that not one drop of rain water escapes REEP House into the stormwater system.
Our paving stones are nine times more water-permeable than standard interlocking brick, and the secret is in the gravel layers underneath. Watch this video about our permeable paving, made by our RAIN team:
In the backyard, our rain garden allows water from the sump pump to be quickly absorbed into the ground, preventing unwanted runoff.
The structure consists of a trench filled with layers of smooth stones, embellished with native plants and some tulips for colour. It demonstrates a simple, low impact way to wisely steward the water that falls on your property and to promote luscious plant growth.
The entire rainwater load on site is either directly infiltrated back into ground water through the rain garden or captured and reused for house related functions.
Products and Donors: Rain garden installed with kind assistance of Wildlife Gardening.