Living Systems LID

Low Impact Development (LID) is a promising approach to stormwater management that focuses on creating sustainable hydrological conditions that amend the impacts of urbanization and land development. The purpose of LID is to understand natural environments and translate that knowledge into practical applications within the field of stormwater management. The key elements that shape the behaviour of water when it makes the transition from atmosphere to land are soil and vegetation. To date, LID has approached the issue of managing stormwater by modifying the soil parameters in an attempt to shape the hydrological functionality of a particular system. The focus of soil analysis is primarily on maximizing infiltration and minimizing leaching. The soil mix that meets the criteria is dominated by chemically and biologically inert coarsely textured particles, such as sand.  There are cost and long-term functionality issues that are associated with using sandy mixes, as sand needs to be imported into areas that are dominated by clay soils, and hydraulic conductivity of sand gets reduced over time as the pore spaces fill up with sediment.