Rain Gardens

Take a look outside next time it’s raining. Is there a spot in your yard where water always puddles? Do you have trouble with water gathering around your foundation? Luckily, a rain garden is an easy and attractive way to handle the issue, and it has the added benefit of helping the environment.

Rain gardens also keep rainwater runoff out of the streets and storm drains, which reduces pollution and roadway flooding. Gardens and soil act as a slow filter for the rainwater, preventing sediment, chemicals, nutrients and more from washing into storm drains and out into the environment.

Additionally, by helping the rain water drain through soil instead of pooling up, you will be reducing mosquito breeding grounds. Mosquitoes need standing water and at least 7-10 days to breed. Rain gardens can drain the area in 24-48 hours.

Ready to create a rain garden? Identify a low point in the landscape. Consider the conditions that the plants will be in. Is it shady most of the day? Or will it get full sun?

Do an inspection of areas where water normally runs off. This could be around gutter downspouts, eaves, or porch overhangs. Trace where water goes from there. If it is collecting in a puddle and not draining away, consider creating a trench to direct the water to your rain garden. Some people choose to bury a pipe from the bottom of a downspout directly to their rain garden.

Excavate the low area that will be your rain garden so that the lowest point is about 6” deep. Your rain garden can be as large or small as you want, but make sure it is at least 10 feet away from your home or building.

Find native flowers and grasses that will tolerate “wet feet” and will flourish in the sun/shade conditions of the garden. Local nurseries or extensions can assist in identifying native plants that will thrive.

After planting flowers and grasses, consider adding river rock or gravel as a top layer to keep soil in place. You can also edge the rain garden with bricks or pavers for a more formal look.

Additional Resources

UGA Extension Services – Rain garden information

Georgia Environmental Protection Division – Coastal Stormwater Supplement


Ogeechee Riverkeeper partners with Georgia Environmental Protection Division and Milliken & Company to offer live streaming water quality data

For Immediate Release

SAVANNAH, GA – May 21, 2019 – Ogeechee Riverkeeper is pleased to announce a collaborative partnership with Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division (EPD) and Milliken & Company.

As part of Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s ongoing efforts to establish a robust water quality monitoring program in the basin, Georgia EPD has agreed to provide two continuous water quality monitoring stations on the Ogeechee River, one upstream and the other downstream from the Milliken & Company Longleaf Plant’s discharge pipe in Screven County.

Ogeechee Riverkeeper will be responsible for maintenance and data collection, and will share the data with the public on the organization’s website. To ensure its operations do not negatively impact the health of the river, Milliken & Company will sponsor the maintenance costs of these stations. The two stations will collect pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature and conductivity data every 15 minutes and update the website.

“This is a great opportunity to show the public that an advocacy group, a regulatory agency and industry can work together to ensure that our water resources are used wisely and protected for future generations,” says Damon Mullis, Ogeechee Riverkeeper.

The ongoing, live monitoring will present new educational and engagement opportunities for the public and provide data for researchers working on the river.

“Environmental stewardship is a core value of Milliken & Company in both our products and manufacturing processes,” shared Jeff Price, president of Milliken’s Performance and Protective Textiles division. “We look forward to continued collaboration with the Georgia EPD and Ogeechee Riverkeeper for transparent methods to protect the health of the Ogeechee River.”

For more information on the stations and for future data monitoring, visit www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.

About Ogeechee Riverkeeper

Ogeechee Riverkeeper, licensed by the Waterkeeper Alliance, works throughout the five-thousand square mile watershed to protect, preserve, and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River basin.


Ogeechee Riverkeeper
Damon Mullis, Riverkeeper & Executive Director
PO Box 16206
Savannah, GA 31416
Ph. 866-942-6222

Milliken & Company
Mollie Williams
Ph. 864-419-6204


Effingham Residents enlist Ogeechee Riverkeeper’s help during ash road repairs

From July 23, 2018 Effingham Herald

Editor mlastinger@effinghamherald.net

GUYTON — About two dozen Effingham County residents have enlisted an experienced set of eyes to help them monitor the repair of fly ash roads near their homes.

Ogeechee Riverkeeper Executive Director Dr. Simona Perry conferred with the residents during a July 16 meeting at Tusculum Christian Church near Guyton. Her organization’s mission is, “To protect, preserve and improve the water quality of the Ogeechee River watershed by building bridges between people and their local waterways.”

During the church meeting, concerns were raised about the safety and effectiveness of fly ash roads in the wake of a Jan. 3 snowstorm. Close to 50 miles of roads, made of material acquired from Georgia-Pacific at no cost, crumbled in the freezing temperatures, prompting the county to OK a $1.42 milion project to fix the damage.

“Our role has been kind of behind the scenes trying to push folks that live on the roads to lobby their elected officials and make sure that they have all the information they need,” Perry said Friday. “I think we are being very successful in giving individual residents a little more information that the county has given.”

Early this month, Effingham County Environmental Health officials and the Effingham County Board of Commissioners started sending postcards to homes on affected roads prior to work beginning. The postcards contain basic precautions residents should take, including encouraging the use of dust masks for outdoor activities within 150 feet of construction.

During the church meeting, some residents voiced worry about breathing fly ash particles and the impact of the substance on nearby water sources.

In a news release in early July, Coastal Health District Health Director Lawton C. Davis, M.D., said, “Wearing a dust mask is always a good idea if you’re active outside for an extended period of time and there is a lot of dust, smoke or pollen in the air, particularly if you suffer from any kind of respiratory condition such as asthma. Since road repair work can generate more dust than usual, we want to encourage folks to take precautions to prevent any irritation that dust might produce.”

County Administrator Steve Davis said Saturday that he will gladly meet with the group Perry is assisting or anyone else to answer questions about ash road repairs, adding that there is no cause for alarm.

Whitaker Laboratories, an independent nationally certified lab, was hired to test soil and water near ash roads in the county immediately following the storm. Twenty samples were taken along 16 roadways and all results were within the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for the chemicals tested.

The residents at the church meeting voiced concerns about chemicals that weren’t included in the tests. They are also wary about air and water quality around the sites of road work.

“People expressed interest in getting more answers to their questions about how decisions are made regarding what roads are being repaired when and what the priorities are,” Perry said. “…That’s kind of what our interest is. I’m just trying to get residents to speak up in a more organized fashion.”

“We just want to make sure that the residents have resolution,” Perry added.

The repair process, which started in February, is expected to be completed by early 2019.