To develop your property into a water-harvesting system, grade the land so that it has low spots to soak up water. Also make sure that paved areas are pervious (they allow water to pass through them into the soil) or that they shed the water that falls on them into an adjacent vegetated area.
If you have an underground drainage system to take away excess water, set the tops of your catch basins 2 to 4 inches above grade so that water pools around them (see the section on drainage systems at the end of this chapter).
You may be required to get a grading permit if your system is a large one with lots of soil being moved around. Check with your local building department to be sure.
fftNG/ Be sure to keep all water away from your house and other buildings. Your water-harvesting zones should begin at least 10 feet out from the foundations. Also test your soil to make sure it percolates adequately for the water to soak in. Doing so is important because standing water breeds mosquitoes. And never, ever mess with natural streams or other watercourses; modifying them is illegal, and you may cause erosion or other serious problems. Besides, real streams often carry a lot of water, and your hard work could simply wash away in the next rain.
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How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.