U.S. EPA Region 1 last week honored the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) team that put in place Soak Up the Rain NH, a program unique among New England states to encourage practices to reduce runoff.
Because more than 90 percent of water pollution in New Hampshire is caused by stormwater runoff, the SOAK team works with citizens and local partners to encourage practices that prevent runoff. The SOAK website and Facebook page inform homeowners about how to reduce runoff and offer the NH Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater Management: Do-it-Yourself Stormwater Solutions. Local SOAK NH groups can also obtain outreach and training materials.
Since the program began in 2012, it has worked with about 15 partner groups on 26 installations that include rain gardens, water bars, infiltration trenches, rain barrels, a dry well, and a buffer. The group’s projects are soaking up and estimated 569,214 gallons of runoff, 12,257 pounds of sediment, 6 pounds of phosphorus, and 16 pounds of nitrogen.