"It's raining harder and harder, and our city can't handle it.
Together, we can catch those raindrops and make Charleston Rainproof."
Have you installed a rain garden, rain barrel or planted a tree in Charleston?
These are all Rainproof actions!
Showcase your project on the Charleston Rainproof Map above by completing this form.
The Rainproof Mini-Grant Program provides $200 and training to support the installation of a new rain garden on your property!
"Amsterdam's motto is 'Every Drop Counts', and they believe small individual actions incrementally add up to have a collective community-wide impact that better manages flooding and water quality."
Thank you Clemson Extension and Carolina Clear for providing the incredible resources for community members to learn how to install rain gardens and rainwater harvesting systems themselves, and for training designers to do it for hire!
Thank you to Roots and Shoots for partnering and supporting Charleston Rainproof! The nursery provides guidance to residents interested in installing a rain garden. Roots and Shoots has trained staff and has a section of their businesses specifically dedicated to plants suitable for rain gardens. They also maintain inventory of supplies needed for rain garden and rainwater harvesting installation in addition to offering design and install services.
Businesses selling Rainproof products and services who are interested in supporting the Rainproof program are encouraged to reach out so the City can connect residents and organizations with local resources to Rainproof their yards!
ANNUAL RAIN BARREL SALE: April/May
Every year, the Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium typically partners with Rainwater Solutions to provide 50 gallon Ivy Rain Barrels at a discounted price. In May 2022 the discounted price was $75 each.
Information about the 2023 sale will be posted here when available.
----- Interested in Installing a Rain Garden? Follow the Easy 5-Step Guide Below! -----
The first step is for a property owner to express interest to install a rain garden and/or rainwater harvesting system on their property! Renters are encouraged to seek permissions from their landlords.
Rain gardens need to drain within 24 hours! You will want to make sure your yard has the correct drainage conditions for a rain garden. If the water is gone in 24 hours or less, you have good soil for a rain garden. If water sits or pools longer than 24 hours, this is an indicator the soil is not ideal for a rain garden and it may be more suitable to a bog garden instead. Perform a simple percolation (perc) test following the guidance on page 3 of A Guide to Rain Gardens in SC
Design: Then utilize Clemson resources to analyze a site, determine ideal location, and complete the "Rain Garden Worksheet" on page 11 of A Guide to Rain Gardens in SC
As desired, a Master Rain Gardener can verify site analysis prior to construction. A full list of professionals for hire (design and/or install) who graduated from Clemson's Master Rain Gardener course can be found online here.
Phase IV: Showcase Your Project and Provide Capacity Metrics
Now that you have installed your project, showcase a few pictures proudly on our new Rainproof Showcase Map, seen at the top of this webpage. Showcase it on the map by completingthis form!
At the same time, we'll capture some basic data from you so we can determine gallons of rainwater your system(s) captures and diverts from the stormwater system and share lessons learned with others in our beautiful city.
City can track metrics and compare with CoCoRaHS rainfall data
Inputs Needed for Rain Gardens
Size of impervious areas being diverted to rain garden (square feet)
Volume capacity of rain garden (gallons)
Inputs Needed for Rainwater Harvesting
Volume capacity of rain barrel or cistern (gallons)
Rain barrels, rain gardens and trees and native plants catch rainwater which would otherwise flow into drainage infrastructure and over dirty streets. These approaches work in concert with nature to collect and filter runoff, mitigate flooding, and minimize pollution while helping to save money and energy too. When rainwater is collected and harnessed on site at the source (where it falls), the community gains lots of benefits such as reduced runoff, water quality protection, and the overall less quantity of water overburdening older, undersized drainage infrastructure.
Master Rain Gardener Program
The Master Rain Gardener program is a workforce development program managed by Clemson Extension Carolina Clear. It provides design standards and the knowledge-based skill set necessary to design and install rain gardens and rainwater harvesting systems on a residential scale. While it is not a required program to install rain gardens or rainwater harvesting systems, it is a hands on resource to support workforce training. For a list of certified designers and installers for hire, and more information, click here.