Low Impact Development

Low Impact Development (LID) methods work with nature to manage rainwater as close to where it falls as possible. LID focuses on slowing rainwater down, soaking it up, and cleaning it before it gets to our waterways.

LID concepts include reducing hard surfaces and using landscape features to mimic natural water movement. It allows water to soak in where it lands, uses natural processes to filter out pollution, and keeps rainwater from flooding our streets and parking lots. LID can be as simple as planning at the start of the project to keep native plants and minimize hard surfaces.

Examples of LID facilities that might be included in a project are: rain gardens, pervious pavement, rain barrels, and bioretention facilities.

Bioretention Facility

bioretention drawing

Rain Barrel

rain barrel drawing

Permeable Pavement

Porous Pavement

Rain Garden

Rain Garden

Native forests in western Washington catch, clean, and slowly move rainwater through the plants, soil, and waterways. As more people move into our area, we add more buildings and streets. Where there was once land covered by mostly forest, we now have hard surfaces that don’t allow rainwater to move as it once did. Rain picks up the pollution on the surfaces (oil, fertilizers, etc.) and moves it into the Salish Sea via the storm drains, typically with no chance for environmental processes to help clean it.

By using LID practices, rainwater can be managed to reduce the impact of building and promote the natural movement of water.

Low Impact Development Stormwater Regulations

The Municipal Stormwater Permit requires that the City updates its codes and regulations to make LID the preferred and commonly used approach to site development.

The City of Anacortes Low Impact Development requirements may be found in Municipal Code Section 19.76.050. These LID regulations emphasize on-site stormwater management that mimics predevelopment conditions rather than storage and conveyance-based stormwater management. The goal of LID is to prevent degradation of our streams and the Salish Sea by runoff from developed sites.