Sightline has published a simple set of instructions for Do-It-Yourself rain gardens. Rain barrels, French drains and swales are all terms depicting a way to capture runoff. Green solutions to stormwater runoff sound fancy and complicated, but they’re not.
The basic principal for controlling stormwater in an Earth-friendly way is to keep the water where it falls and help it soak into the ground. Homeowners can do this by following any or all of the low-impact development strategies highlighted in this Sightline guide http://daily.sightline.org/daily_score/archive/2010/03/08/stormwater-diy published online.