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Low Impact Development and Rain Gardens

dump no pollutants

Rain is a fact of life in Washington, and it’s mostly a good thing. But rainwater can carry pollution, since water picks up everything in it’s path and eventually delivers it to the nearest waterway. Polluted runoff is called stormwater and it can carry things like oil and gas, heavy metals, fertilizers, and animal waste. Too much rain or snow can also result in flooding.

What is LID?

Low impact development (LID) techniques mimic nature and can reduce flooding and filter pollution from stormwater. Techniques include pervious paving, rain water harvesting and storage, green roofs and rain gardens. This LID Fact Sheet provides an overview on a variety of LID methods and how they can help reduce pollution from storm water.

New Fact Sheet on the research: Testing the effectiveness of bioretention at reducing the toxicity of urban stormwater to Coho salmon.

Murphy RG plant layout

Rain Gardens

A rain garden is a great way to clean polluted stormwater runoff, beautifully. A rain garden acts like a native forest by collecting, absorbing, and filtering stormwater runoff from roof tops, driveways, patios, and other areas that don’t allow water to soak in. They can be built at any scale and one may be just right for your home or neighborhood.

A great first step is to watch this 5 minute video: Building a Rain Garden in the City and learn why, where and how to build a rain garden.

To learn more visit these sites:

Resources for municipalities, businesses, and professionals

Learn more about upcoming classes, events, and LID Certification