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"Get the Water into the Ground"

 An inexpensive way to trap run-off is to get the water back into the ground using Low Impact Development(LID) and forest buffers.

Runoff flows into forest soils and tree roots absorb the excess Phosphorous and Nitrogen and water.   Clean water seeps into streams and rivers.


Paved Surfaces cause water to run along the surface and carry excess nutrients into the streams.  Too much of these nutrients causes harmful algae blooms and makes water unusable as a source for a water treatment plant for drinking water production.  Falling Creek Reservoir was closed because of excess runoff.


Sediment can close a reservoir “Falling Creek” (See Page 3 in this link)

See Piedmont Environmental Council's Link to a video on Suburban Runnoff
Piedmont Environmental Council



LowImpact Development uses trees, rain gardens and other methods to get the rain water back into the ground.

Information from Sneed's Nursery, Chesterfield County, James River Association, and the State of Virginia on Fertilizing and controlling runoff.

Sneed's Nursery near Stony Point shops makes rain gardens and rain barrels to capture runoff from the river. You could also put a few of those in key places near gutter drains and downhill of parking lots to help get the water back into the ground.

Landscaper, Outdoor Environments:
Outdoor Environments helps with LEEDs and Earthcraft Certification.  He is a VA Certified Erosion and Sediment Control Planner. He has consulted on large projects and is a horticulturist with experience with Virginia Native Plants.
Outdoor Environments

Chesterfield County:

A lot of Aglea can come from too much fertiller. You could make some requirements for your landscapers to follow from this.

Lawn Care to Prevent Algea Growth Guide

James River Association's Info and links on LID for your own background:
Low Impact Development

Low Impact Development (LID) is an environmental-friendly development process that involves altering site planning, design and development so that the impact of stormwater on the surrounding area has been reduced.  LID requirements are intended to complement current stormwater regulations. LID can often save on construction costs due to a reduction in storm drains, piping and ponds which are used to transport stormwater in traditional stormwater management practices.  By reducing these traditional practices the developable area may be increased, making the site more profitable and it may also increase the marketability of the site.
The environmental benefits of LID include: reducing stormwater impact on wetlands, streams and coastal waters; enhancing surface and groundwater quality; offering better protection of ecological and biological systems; and preserving open space.
More information on LID:
Low Impact Development Center
Municipal Guide to Low Impact Development
Low Impact Development Survey 4/09 (PDF, 128 kb)

Successful LID in Lacy, Washington 

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a resource for Low Impact Development.  Note the Zero Impact Development Section, near the bottom of this page where Lacey, Washington left 60% of the trees standing when they developed and had no increased water pollution from development.

 The legislation was adopted on a voluntary basis. The hospital in Lacy was constructed on a 5 acre site according to the voluntary ordinance. There has been zero pollution in the past 3-4 years of operation. Cost for water mitigation was significantly less than conventional BMP technology in WA.    

There is also a commercial townhome that advertises zero impact development in Lacy:  The Villages at Hicks lake is sown on this website:

American Rivers has resources for citizens to bring Low Impact Development to their communities.
Hyper Link: American Rivers