Stormwater and Low Impact Development (LID)

Rain falls on our roofs and streets and flows into storm drains. Whatever goes down the drains flows to our creeks and lakes. Rain water picks up what it touches - oil from the road, yard chemicals, pet waste, or other pollutants. This polluted water then runs off into our creeks and lakes and Puget Sound.  There is no filter or treatment to clean the water. This polluted water can be highly toxic to our fish and wildlife.  When houses, streets, shopping centers, and businesses are built, natural soil and plants are replaced by hard surfaces, such as roofs and pavement. When rain falls on these hard surfaces, it cannot soak into the ground, so it quickly becomes runoff that can cause flooding.

Low Impact Development (LID) is an approach to land development and redevelopment designed to infiltrate runoff from rain.  It can reduce water pollution, reduce flooding, and add green spaces - and it is also required as part of the city’s stormwater management permit with Ecology.  

Rain garden

Rain garden with water flowing


Bioswale example

French drain

French drain solving drainage problem on side of home

Porous pavement

Porous concrete example in hand