Water makes up over 2/3 of a human body and we need to continually intake it to stay healthy. So how does this precious and very necessary element become a problem to property owners in Atlanta and everywhere around the country? Here are a few ways that water can cause challenges if not addressed or managed properly:
Erosion- Many years ago while working with a great crew leader he kept saying “corrosion” and after chuckling a little then figuring out he meant “erosion” I have never forgotten the word picture of what happens when rainwater hits raw ground or moving water washes over raw soil. Erosion causes topsoil to wash away, red subsoil to get relocated, and it eventually gets deposited somewhere that isn’t acceptable. Eating away from the Earth like a corroded metal piece can also be detrimental to the care of our environment if it disrupts stream which erosion will eventually impact.
- Proper location of turf- Turf will die in the shade. There, I said it! This is very common and avoidable by understanding how the sun changes over the course of a year relating to your site and its shade causing features, namely buildings and trees.
- Covering ground with pine straw mulch in planting areas- Mulch slows down the movement of water after it softens its blow to the ground. This becomes necessary especially on slopes and everywhere in general as most municipalities won’t let folks close on a new house with raw ground for good reason.
Standing water- When my wife and I bought our second home in the Atlanta area we quickly realized there was going to be standing water around our A/C unit at the left side of the home and this was priority one on our punch list which the builder rectified.
- Grading- A simple check with a laser level will verify how much slope you have and which way the water will move and if the ground is sloping in the direction you want. Your eye can be fooled by an area’s surroundings, but the machine won’t be fooled. Light grading may be needed, or a complete overhaul of an area may be required.
- Sump Pump- In rare instances where there is no downhill slope available in any direction you may have to go against nature and pump it out of an area mechanically.
- Bog Gardens- Bog Gardens can incorporate unusual plants and be very aesthetically pleasing to the eye while inviting nature to visit your property (i.e.: birds, butterflies, etc.).
Large water flow volume across a property- Big picture vision will be needed on this as sometimes water comes from neighboring property with no control over how much or where it enters your space.
- Rerouting through pipes and catch basins- Piping downspouts or other large flows of water underground across a property to natural areas or drainage swales designed for larger amounts of water will negate large flows from eroding valuable soil.
- Creating a Dry Creek Bed- Dry Creeks are not just ornamental features but slow water speed, prevents erosion with natural river stone covering the ground while looking great when water isn’t running through them. In Atlanta and the Southeastern US in general smooth river stones are locally available for construction of this kind of element and can be a highlight of a landscape turning lemons into lemonade!