Environmental Site Design
Stormwater pollution prevention starts before the shovel even hits the ground – with good design and planning. Environmental site design – a term which encompasses aspects of better site design, low impact development and green infrastructure – uses nature’s own processes to prevent runoff. This is achieved by protecting green space and making less impervious surfaces – smaller developments and less asphalt means less runoff is generated, and utilizing natural processes to soak rainwater and snowmelt into the ground – infiltrating runoff mimics the natural water cycle. Environmental site design practices also use vegetation to trap and evaporate water, or reuse it for irrigation or other purposes.
Environmental Site Design Resources
Chicago Department of Transportation: Green Alley Program
ECONorthwest’s The Economics of Low Impact Development: A Literature Review
Natural Resources Defense Council:
News Hour with Jim Lehr, 10.08.08: Stormwater Runoff Pollutes Drinking Water
Smart Growth publications (disponible en Espanol)