Clean Water

The diverse ecosystems, working
landscapes, and vibrant communities
that inspire and sustain us depend on
clean water. Learn about pollution
reduction strategies.

Healthy Habitats
Connect Us All

Lakeshores, stream banks, and wetlands are critical to clean
water and biodiversity. Learn about efforts to improve
habitat connectivity in the Basin ecosystem.

We Care for
What We Know

Recreation fosters stewardship of the Basin’s rich
natural and cultural heritage by connecting people
to the landscape while supporting local economies.
Learn about ways to explore the Basin.

Informed Citizens
Make Wiser Choices

Citizens who have an understanding and
appreciation of water resources make informed
choices about actions that might contribute to
pollution. Learn about education programs.

    Water & Environment

    Did You Know?

    Approximately one third of Lake Champlain Basin residents use the Lake as a source of drinking water.
    Find out more

    How to Redirect a Downspout

    Simple Downspout Redirection

    Redirecting roof runoff is as simple as adding a downspout extension. These are plastic (PVC) or metal extensions that attach to the bottom of your existing downspout. The extension should carry your roof runoff at least three to five feet away from your home to prevent any water damage to your home or foundation. Keep in mind that not all sites are well suited for simple redirection. If your lawn is small compared to your roof, or if the slope of your lawn is too steep, consider installing a rain barrel or a rain garden instead. (Redirecting your downspout into your neighbor’s basement is also not recommended.)

    Direct-Piping Downspout Redirection

    Some homes have a downspout that is directly connected to the storm drain system. This direct piping can be altered and redirected by cutting the existing pipe and then installing a downspout elbow and extension.


    Image Courtesy of the Mid-America Regional Council

    The materials to redirect your downspout cost about $30 or less, and the tools required are common: hacksaw, drill, pliers, tape measure, and screwdriver.

    Note: Before beginning, you should have the proper safety equipment to prevent accidents—in this case, protective goggles and gloves.

    downspout redirection_example1

    Existing downspout









    1. Cut the end of the existing downspout
    Using a fine-tooth hacksaw, cut the end of the downspout so that it ends approximately 9 inches above the standpipe. Remove the cut piece from the area.

    downspout redirection_example2

    Cut the end of the downspout









    2. Cap the standpipe
    If you are redirecting a downspout that was directly connected to the storm drain system with a standpipe, you will need to cap the top of the existing standpipe. Use a plug with a wing nut or an expansion plug or cap.

    3. Attach the elbow
    Attach the elbow to the cut downspout by placing it over the end. To ensure a good fit, use needlenose pliers to crimp the downspout. Secure the elbow to the downspout on either side with sheet metal screws. The screw holes may need to be pre-drilled.

    downspout redirection_example3

    Attach the elbow






    4. Install a downspout extension
    Attach the elbow into a downspout extension which is made of the same material as your downspout. Slide the extension over the elbow and secure it using sheet metal screws.

    1. Downspouts should drain at least five feet away from your home
    2. The end of your downspout should be at least five feet from your property line and possibly more if your yard slopes toward neighbor’s property
    Downspout redirection_example-015

    Install a downspout extension





    You may also consider using a splash block at the end of the downspout extension, which will help prevent soil or lawn erosion. Splash blocks can help direct water into rain or rock gardens.

    Additional Resources for Downspout Redirection

    The City of Portland, OR has developed a downspout redirection brochure that contains a variety of helpful information including how to determine the slope of your lawn and whether your lawn is large enough to absorb your roof’s runoff. Keep in mind that the sizing standards and recommended setbacks are specific to Portland. Contact your local municipality if you have questions about sizing or setbacks.

    EPA Webpage on Green Infrastructure
    Mid-America Regional Council Environmental Programs Downspout Redirection Instructions

    What is the State of the Lake?

    What is the
    State of the Lake?

    Learn about the health of Lake Champlain in the 2018 State of the Lake report. Read about trends in key indicators of water quality and ecosystem health. Read the State of the Lake report


    Make Some Waves

    From using lake-friendly cleaning products to volunteering with a local watershed group, you can help restore and protect the Lake Champlain Basin. Find out how you can get involved

    Track Our Progress

    Track Our Progress

    Explore the goals and actions of our partners and track our progress online with the Opportunities for Action website. View Opportunities for Action

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    LCBP is a program partner of
    Lake Champlain Basin Program

    Lake Champlain Basin Program
    54 West Shore Road
    Grand Isle, VT 05458
    800-468-5227 (NY & VT)
    or 802-372-3213