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By: Adam Hoffman

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February 21st, 2013

LID: Low Impact Development in Connecticut

LID | Low Impact Development

Low-Impact-DevelopmentIntroduction

LID is an alternative process of land development aimed at minimizing the impact of urbanization in Connecticut's natural habitats by replicating the original conditions found on the pre-development site. In fact, it is more of a strategic approach rather than a collection of related tactics. For the most part, LID serves as a superior alternative to traditional stormwater management, which can be both expensive and ineffective at keeping pollutants from being introduced into the environment.

Although LID is most popular in certain areas of the United States such as here in Connecticut, it is quite similar to other sustainable development practices found in Britain and other European countries.

For example, any land development that could possibly affect the natural movement of water in that area is carefully analyzed and designed to prevent this. The purpose to Low Impact Development is to keep natural processes in tact and work with the natural landscape and hydrology rather than debilitating it. As a result, residential and commercial developments in Connecticut can avoid most environmental degradation, water pollution, and/or possible flooding. Using LID methodology its possible to control most water runoff by retaining it on the property instead of funneling it through pipes and drains into local water resources.

How LID Is Implemented

As mentioned, LID accepts all methods that can be used to maintain the site's original conditions. However, there are a number of principles that often pop up in sites developed using LID:

First
LID requires the preservation of the site's natural state as much as possible. In short, areas that need to be changed should change as little as possible, while areas that do not need to be changed should be left alone. This reduces the need to replicate the site's original conditions, since those conditions have not been changed through the process of development.

Second 
LID requires the site to install control mechanisms used to ensure that the stormwater cannot leave the site. Some of these control mechanisms ensure that the stormwater enters the soil on the site, while others collect it in storage containers for eventual evaporation. Detainment is also a popular usage for control mechanisms installed on these sites.

Third
Site owners should also strive to conduct regular maintenance and reduce pollutants that can enter the environment. Maintenance ensures that the control mechanisms function as intended, while a reduction in pollutants ensures that the runoff from the stormwater is less dangerous.

The Benefits of LID

Connecticut-LIDLID is beneficial because it reduces the site's potential harm to the environment, making it essential in sustainable development. However, it is also cheaper than traditional stormwater management because the site undergoes fewer changes. The LID implementation will vary but it will be used in the site's development so long as those methods can be used to either retain or replicate its original conditions.

Key Takeaways

  • LID manages stormwater runoff through maintaining the site's original conditions. 

  • LID stresses minimal development of the site, the installation of control mechanism, and the introduction of other green practices. 

  • LID is beneficial because it is cheaper and produces less dangerous runoff.
     

Reference

http://water.epa.gov/polwaste/green/index.cfm

About Adam Hoffman

Hoffman began his surveying career back in 1978 when he worked for his uncle, Bernard Godfrey. After graduating from Paul Smith’s College, he worked his way from rod-man to transit-man and eventually party-chief. In 1988 when Adam received his Land Surveying license, he and Mr. Godfrey formed Godfrey-Hoffman Associates. After 12 years of a great partnership, Mr. Godfrey retired which left Mr. Hoffman with the entire business.

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