Low Impact Development (LID) practices protect and use the land’s natural features as a way to filter and slow the flow of stormwater. These practices manage stormwater at its source and protect natural areas, too. They can also save developers money by minimizing the need to add infrastructure like streets and gutters. Examples of LID practices include:
Permeable pavement, such as pavers and crushed stone, can be used in place of asphalt and concrete to pave surfaces. These materials allow rain and snow to soak into the ground instead of flowing into storm drains. They are often used for parking lots, driveways, and sidewalks.
Bioretention areas (also known as rain gardens) are shallow depressions in the landscape that collect water that runs off from hard surfaces. These areas are planted with grasses and flowering plants that help filter the water as it soaks into the ground. They are often placed in parking lot islands or street medians.
Vegetated filter strips are broad, gently sloping areas of grass or plants that trap, filter, and slow stormwater runoff. They are often located by roads, parking lots, and driveways.
You can learn more about LID practices in this Massachusetts Low Impact Development Toolkit and on the Neponset Stormwater Partnership’s website.