Soak Up the Rain Frequently Asked Questions

+How do I get started Soaking Up the Rain?

There are three basic ways to get started:

1. Visit the Start Your Project page to learn how to install your own stormwater solution.

2. Get involved with a Local SOAK Program

3. Review the New Hampshire Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater Management


+What is infiltration?

Infiltration simply means that the stormwater is allowed to soak into and move through the soil. The soil  absorbs and temporarily stores the water for slow release to groundwater sources, helping to reduce local flooding. Also, as stormwater infiltrates, the soil acts as a cleanser. For example, pollutants may “stick” to the soil or be broken down by helpful bacteria or other processes.

+What is the “Runoff Volume”?

The runoff volume is a depth of water falling on a certain drainage area. SOAK projects are commonly designed to capture one inch of stormwater. The runoff volume is calculated by multiplying the drainage area by one inch.

+What is the “Drainage Area”

The drainage area is an area that collects rain or melting snow and has a common discharge, or exit, point.  For example, in many SOAK projects, a drainage area refers to all the roof areas that drain to the same downspout.

+What is a receiving waterbody?

A receiving water body is the lake, river, ocean, estuary, or other body of water that stormwater eventually flows to. Stormwater may reach the receiving water body through a piped stormwater system, through drainage trenches, or it may just flow over land to its receiving waterbody.

+What is a Stormwater Solution?

A stormwater solution or stormwater practice is a simple, attractive, and effective way for property owners to enhance their properties while protecting the water quality of nearby lakes, streams, and coastal waters. The Soak Up the Rain (SOAK) program encourages using the nine stormwater practices described in the New Hampshire Homeowners Guide to Stormwater Management.

Stormwater solutions capture runoff from roofs, driveways, patios, and even lawns and infiltrate it (allow it to soak into the ground) through stone reservoirs, natural soils, or filter media. The plants and soils filter and remove stormwater pollutants, which prevents pollution from entering nearby surface waters. Infiltrating the runoff reduces the volume of stormwater leaving the property. This helps to reduce erosion and local flooding, reduce the burden of too much runoff entering municipal stormwater drainage systems, and increase ground water recharge.

+Why should I Soak Up the Rain?

It might seem like our actions don’t make a difference. When it comes to stormwater pollution, every action, good or bad, makes a difference. What you do in your own back yard can affect the entire watershed and can impact the health of the waterbodies on which we depend for recreational activities, water supplies, and natural habitats.  Letting stormwater soak into the ground instead of running off to a stormwater system or waterbody helps reduce pollution, reduce flooding, and recharge groundwater supplies. Learn more on the Why Soak Up the Rain page.

+What is a watershed?

A watershed is a geographical area in which all water drains to a given stream, lake, wetland, estuary, or ocean. It is similar to a funnel. Our landscape is made up of many interconnected watersheds. The boundary of a watershed is defined by the line that connects the highest elevations around the waterbody.