Best Management Practices

Best management practices (BMPs) are the actions homeowners and businesses can do to reduce the quantity of stormwater runoff leaving their property. For more detailed information about the following BMPs click on the BMP title or visit Each of these practices may be cost-share eligible for homeowners and businesses through the Wabash River Enhancement Corporation

Rain Barrels

Rain barrels capture stormwater runoff from rooftops via downspouts. The water in the barrel can then be used for water gardens, lawns, or can simply be drained once the ground is no longer saturated from rain. 

The Wabash River Enhancement Corporation (WREC) offers a rain barrel kit (barrel, stand, and downspout diverter) to residents within their target watershed for just $25 (limit one per household at the reduced rate). Contact WREC to find out if your address qualifies for a reduced-price rain barrel kit. 

Rain Gardens

Rain gardens are shallow depressions in a property, intentionally designed to accept drainage. Rain gardens are planted with native flowers, shrubs, and even trees that are moisture-tolerant and help infiltrate the excess water.

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Example public rain gardens in Tippecanoe County include roadside rain gardens on Main Street in downtown Lafayette and in the parking lot of Purdue University’s CoRec Center. 

For rain garden design manuals and guides for homeowners and businesses, please visit our Fact Sheets & Helpful Links page.


Bioswales are vegetated drainage channels consisting of grasses, flowers, and shrubs that encourage stormwater runoff to infiltrate along its path to a drain or inlet. 

A local example of a large-scale bioswale can be found along Veteran's Memorial Parkway/350 S in Lafayette. The bioswale runs from 9th Street to State Road 52 along the south side of the Parkway. A smaller scale example can be found at Vinton Elementary School in Lafayette, near the corner of Elmwood Street and Vinton Street. 

Pervious Pavement

Pervious pavement describes hard surfaces that have intentional spacing or channeling between bricks or pavers for water to flow through, often collecting in a gravel reservoir below the surface. The reservoir allows the water to slowly infiltrate into the soil below.allowing infiltration into the ground below. Users of pervious pavement must regularly clean the spacing between the pavers to remove plants and debris and to ensure proper function. 

Pervious pavement can be used for driveways, patios, streets, or sidewalks where concrete or asphalt is used. 

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Native Plants

Planting native plants are a great way to reduce impervious surfaces and soak up additional stormwater in the process. The maximum root depth of turf grass is about 5 inches, whereas some native plants have roots down 3-10 feet deep! Those deep roots help water to infiltrate into the soil and greatly reduce soil erosion. 

Native plants are adapted to Indiana's environment, so they require far less water that traditional landscape species. Native plants also provide vital habitat for birds, pollinators, many other wildlife species. 
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