Low Impact Development Resources

What is Low Impact Development (LID) and why is it key to reducing stormwater pollution of the Lagoon.

Low Impact Development design standards are tools to retain rainfall wherever it falls so that it doesn’t run off into storm drains, streams, and canals picking up pollutants that eventually reach the lagoon. impervious surfaces such as roads, concrete driveways, and roofs prevent rain from being absorbed into the soil as it was naturally before development occurred. We need roads and houses and driveways, so we must use implement methods that allow rainwater to be absorbed, rather than runoff into street drains or waterbodies. This can be as simple as planting a rain garden, or using rain barrels to catch and slowly absorb roof runoff. Using pervious pavers for decking materials and driveways, patios and walkways. In more urbane areas where there is little or no space for these solutions, LID is more challenging. In these cases, underground storage and absorption methods are required. On the surface they look like street drains, but the water is directed to man made storage and absorption areas under roadways, parking lots and buildings where the water is treated to remove pollutants and slowly released into the ground. Above ground local parks and planters with trees can absorb rain from many times their surface area, while creating a more natural, cooler, and healthier environment.
Low Impact Development solutions can actually lower the cost of development and maintenance for the community, by reducing the need for stormwater drainage systems and the associated maintenance.
There are good examples of these methods being use in local municipalities such as Cape Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach and Melbourne.
Low impact development is starting to take hold around the nation. In 2020 SB712 Clean Waters Act lines 425-531 instructs Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and water management districts to update stormwater rule making to include Low Impact Design to reduce pollutants from stormwater discharge by Jan 1 2021. Rule-making has begun, so we need to monitor those activities as well as push our local officials to adopt LID practices and ordinances.
In 2020 FDEP in conjunction with Brevard County created a retrofit Guide for commercial and Light Industrial facilities, and the University of Florida Professor Evan Bean has been working with local municipalities providing them with engineering design tools for integrating LID into ordinances and engineering designs. The Blue Green Algae Task Force recommends LID for new and retrofit developments for stormwater retention.

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