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The Low Impact Development (LID) approach to site development and stormwater management is rapidly becoming the required design approach in many areas of the United States.

The basic principle is to use nature as a model and manage rainfall at the source. This is accomplished through sequenced implementation of runoff prevention strategies, runoff mitigation strategies, and finally, treatment controls to remove pollutants.

There are 5 core requirements when it comes to designing for LID.

  1. Conserve natural areas wherever possible (don’t pave over the whole site if you don’t need to).
  2. Minimize the development impact on hydrology.
  3. Maintain runoff rate and duration from the site (don’t let the water leave the site).
  4. Scatter integrated management practices (IMPs) throughout your site – IMPs are decentralized, microscale controls that infiltrate, store, evaporate, and/or detain runoff close to the source.
  5. Implement pollution prevention, proper maintenance and public education programs.

See how you can lower your impact with the Low Impact Development Application Guide.

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