Low Impact Design (LID)

Low impact design (LID) is a cost effective way to manage storm or melt water on-site. Slowing and detaining storm water prevents a rush of pollutant laden waters to lakes and streams. Flashes of floodwater also cause in-stream erosion. Warmed water from parking lots should cool down before it reenters the natural drainage system to prevent thermal pollution and harm to stream life.

LID techniques use smaller pockets of land on a site to manage storm water runoff. For example, rather than using one massive detention basin, storm water may find its way to indented parking lot landscape islands.

LID Examples

Water can be detained and treated using such things as:

  • Cisterns
  • Green roofs
  • Meadow plantings
  • Porous pavement
  • Rain gardens
  • Swales
  • Underground reservoirs