Recognizing the many benefits trees provide to the ecosystem, more and more jurisdictions are providing incentives to public and private entities to preserve existing trees or to plant new ones. The City of Roanoke, Virginia is one of the latest to implement such an incentive. Matt Chittum of The Roanoke Times reports on the city’s efforts toward this end:

“Roanoke City Council approved creation last year of a new utility that will collect fees from all landowners in the city based on how much impervious surface they have on their property. The fees take effect July 1.

You can receive credits for up to a total of 50 percent of your annual fee by taking certain measures to reduce runoff and improve water quality on your land. The measures and their value are outlined in a “Credit Manual” and in an “Ideabook” on the utility website.

10 percent credit measures include installing a rain barrel, disconnecting gutter downspouts from city storm drains, planting trees and storing your solid waste responsibly.

25 percent credit measures include installing an underground cistern to store rainwater, planting a rain garden, or converting your driveway to a pervious paving system. (Plain gravel doesn’t count because it becomes so compacted over time that it’s impervious.)”

How do trees help manage stormwater?

In urban areas like Roanoke, trees help decrease the amount of stormwater that enters a city’s waterways and sewer systems. Acting as temporary reservoirs, trees retain water on site. They also help reduce pollution and make waterways safe for people and fish. In terms of a city’s stormwater BMP strategies, trees play a very important role.

A More Effective Stormwater Management System

State and city governments must use every available option to protect and enhance their jurisdiction’s water supply. Due to growing environmental concerns, governments are putting more pressure on public and private entities to have efficient stormwater BMPs in place. Taking care of the trees is one way of managing runoff, and using better stormwater management products is another.

Ensure Your Compliance

Implementing a solid stormwater management system not only ensures that you comply with government mandates and protect yourself from running into unnecessary fees, it also means you are doing your part toward establishing a sustainable urban environment.

Best Stormwater Management Products

Systems like StormChamber by HydroLogic Solutions, Inc. are high-quality stormwater management tools that promote improved ecological function in urban areas. These specially designed technologies can provide you with the stormwater detention, retention, conveyance, and maintenance utilities you need.

(Source: Interest in storm water fee credits trickles in, The Roanoke Times, June 28, 2014)