Water is an important issue in Chattanooga. While we are blessed to have an abundant supply of water from the Tennessee River, many areas often flood in large storm events. Also, an area of downtown uses a combined storm and sewer system which backs up during storm events and overflows into the Tennessee River. To conserve water, and to reduce the stress on our storm and sewer system, we recommend the following:
1. To reduce runoff from your roof, consider installing a rain barrel to collect water that can be used to water plants. You can direct your gutters to the barrel, or use a rain chain.
2. Install aerators on faucets. Aerators mix air into the water to maintain good pressure while reducing the consumption of water. They are inexpensive and widely available at most hardware stores.
Using native and adaptive species of plants that are drought tolerant require less water to maintain. Tennessee Smart Yards' blog serves as a Tennessee native plant database and is a great resource for selecting commercially available plants to use in your garden. It has tips on successful gardening in the region, and recommendations on plants that are budget-friendly, dependable, and easy to grow.
A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests is a comprehensive guide to identifying plants or groups that are aggressively invading southern forests. Many of these invasive species have native and nonnative plants that closely resemble them and have been commercially bred. This Field Guide can help distinguish the invasive species from their look-a-likes, and safeguard valuable native plants.