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Stormwater Management and Low Impact Development (LID)

Nonpoint Source Pollution is the collection of harmful chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers, motor oil, and others through the washing of rainwater over the landscape. This contaminated runoff threatens local streams, rivers, and waterbodies where it can kill local wildlife and cause proliferation of harmful bacteria and algae. Site Systems helps property owners to reduce their landscape’s contribution to nonpoint source pollution by implementing several best-practice measures:

Rain Gardens: Large volumes of water wash off a roof even in a minor rain storm. Conventional gutter systems capture this water at selected points before discharging it overland to drain. Intercepting this flow with a properly sized rain garden can capture nearly all of this water and infiltrate it into the ground where soil microbes can filter and treat its contaminants. Contrary to popular belief, rain gardens do not accommodate standing water for very long and thus do not allow mosquitoes or other nuisance insects to breed. Plants in such a garden therefore must be able to withstand complete inundation for several hours as well as relative drought for extended periods of time. A number of native facultative plants such as River Birch, Inkberry Holly, or Blue-flag Iris are able to meet that need.

Bioswales: Often found curbside, these planted drainage channels collect stormwater and convey it to an infiltration point down-slope such as a rain garden or biorentention basin. The presence of vegetation in the bioswale helps slow down the rate of flow. Additionally, the plant roots reduce the risk of erosion and help trap sediments that are washed in. Bioswales are widely adaptable for stormwater management at all types of sites.


Sediment Basin:This engineered solution accommodates large volumes of stormwater in a more ecologically-friendly way than the conventional detention pond system. Forebays and check dams located at the entrance of the basin help slow down incoming runoff and settle the sediments and pollutants contained within. Native plant communities within the basin help further slow the runoff and filter the contaminants as they infiltrate into the soil to be broken down by soil microbes.


Riparian Buffers: Providing a planted buffer strip between human activities and sensitive riparian ecosystems helps mitigate the effects of downstream flooding, reduce the amount of sediments and pollutants entering the watershed, and improve the riverbank habitat for indigenous fish and other wildlife.

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