Low Impact Development (LID) Strategies

Katie Thompson
Last Updated: January 10, 2024

Low-impact Development (LID) is alternative site design approach to conventional stormwater management that has grown in popularity in the last 10 years. The LID strategy uses nature as a model for managing stormwater runoff. LID can be applied to both new construction and redevelopment projects, but it is more effective when used on sites with existing vegetation or other natural features such as waterways.  

LID key requirements:

  • Preserve natural spaces whenever possible.
  • Minimize the impact of your project on hydrology.
  • Maintain a consistent rate of flow in running water.
  • Spread integrated management practices throughout your site - Integrated Management Practices are decentralized and near-source solutions focused on infiltration, storage, evaporation, and detention of rainwater before it reaches sources of contamination.
  • Implement pollution prevention while also taking care of any necessary maintenance such as erosion control.

What are some low impact development features?

  • Rain Gardens
  • Bioswales with native vegetation
  • Green Roofs
  • Permeable Pavement
  • Naturalized Drainage Ways – More trees and vegetation
  • Rainwater Harvesting

LID has a variety of benefits such as decreasing the pollution from urban development that is swept away with runoff.  Other benefits include an increase in green spaces for wildlife (thus decreasing the temperature - concrete and asphalt retain heat more than green spaces).   A combination of these LID strategies has proven to reduce flood risk and insurance costs.  It also reduces the burden on Epcor’s drainage systems which will also save on drainage fees. Commercial and industrial property owners can apply for a commercial/industrial Stormwater Utility Credit with Epcor (see Drainage Assessments).

Cost effective LID initiatives are integrated into the civil engineering development design during the planning stage of your project.  Although LID can be done after the fact it is easier to preserve existing vegetation and waterways than incorporating LID strategies later.  

Bolson Engineering and Environmental Services is passionate about development. Be sure to reach out to Bolson Engineering and Environmental Services. With the right civil engineering team in place, you can provide low impact development strategies. Contact us to discuss you project.

About the author

With more than 12 years in human resources, Katie brings important process management skills to the table. Her direct experience with senior management in the construction industry helps her understand your engineering project goals. Her creative forward-thinking propels Bolson toward exciting new business opportunities.

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