LEWISTON — The city will kick off an effort later this month to encourage residents to keep water from running off their property.

“We’re trying to get a behavioral change, to get people to realize that when water comes off their property, it usually brings stuff with it,” said Jan Patterson, city of Lewiston project engineer.

The city will host a free, public workshop at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College, 51 Westminster St.

Roof, lawn and driveway runoff is up to 50 percent of the runoff
entering the city’s storm drain system, she said. From there, it feeds directly into catch basins, culverts and the Androscoggin River.

That water can carry many kinds of pollutants, such as lawn chemicals, pet waste, leaves, grass
clippings, oil and sediment.

“Anything people can do to keep that water on their property longer helps,” Patterson said. “There’s no way people can stop all of it from running off, but they can do a lot.”

Officials at the workshop will have information about systems to keep rain and runoff
on the property, including rain barrels, gutters and downspout diverters, and rain gardens.

“A rain garden is a very nice kind of garden, that rather than having a mound of dirt, it’s built below grade,” Patterson said. “The plants in it do a good job of accepting and treating water falling around it.”

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Don’t Let Your Runoff . . . Run Off

  • 6:30- 8:00 p.m. July 28
  • Room 108/109, University of Southern Maine/Lewiston-Auburn, 51 Westminster St.

The workshop will discuss urban runoff, provide information about rain barrels, rain gardens and diverters. Professionals will be on hand to provide technical assistance. Give-aways will include rain barrels and diverters. Refreshments will be provided.

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