What is LID? California Green Paving | Eco Grid San Diego

What is LID?

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 Low Impact Development 

Source: EPA

The term low impact development (LID) refers to systems and practices that use or mimic natural processes that result in the infiltration, evapotranspiration or use of stormwater in order to protect water quality and associated aquatic habitat.  LID is very similar with GI, or “Green Infrastructure”

“The difference between the two terms is really one of scale. LID refers to designing and implementing practices that can be employed at the site-level to control stormwater and strive to replicate the pre-development hydrology of the site.  Green infrastructure generally refers to a broader, big picture view of a community or watershed and focuses on a coordinated effort to employ these practices along with practices like land conservation. ” source UCON

LID aims to preserve, restore and create green space using soils, vegetation, and rainwater harvest techniques. LID is an approach to land development (or re-development) that works with nature to manage stormwater as close to its source as possible. LID employs principles such as preserving and recreating natural landscape features, minimizing effective imperviousness to create functional and appealing site drainage that treat stormwater as a resource rather than a waste product.  LID principles reduce the “heat island” effect caused by the urbanization and “closing” of pervious areas.

There are many ways to implement LID practices.  Utilizing one or more of these LID practices will help minimize storm water runoff:

  • Bioretention facilities

  • Rain gardens

  • Vegetated rooftops

  • Rain barrels

  • French drains

  • Permeable pavements

Minimizing the disturbance to a watershed’s natural hydrologic function is the primary goal of LID. Permeable areas restore the natural hydrologic flow.  During construction, heavy machinery compacts the sites soil, and makes the natural ground more impervious.  Ecoraster can be used as a temporary access way to prevent in situ soil compaction, maintaining the in situ soils permeability.

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