Building Green and Sustainable Stormwater in the United States – the new business as usual


Carol Brzozowski, in the July/August 2008 issue of Stormwater Magazine, elaborates on the reasons why a host of developers are incorporating an increasing number of 'sustainable stormwater designs' into their developments. This feature article on Building Green notes that rainwater/stormwater is the major site issue confronting municipalities across the United States.


“Low Impact” versus “Sustainable”

The article explains the difference between low-impact development and sustainable site design as follows:

  • Low-impact development (LID) is a term used by the Environmental Protection Agency and the stormwater treatment industry, and focuses primarily on rainwater/stormwater issues.
  • Sustainable site design is a broader term encompassing other green measures as well.

The article points out that one of the major aspects of all sustainable stormwater techniques is that there has to be a total mind-shift in how the designer thinks of the site as it fits in the larger surroundings, whether that's the watershed or an open area.

The article draws on the experience of individuals such as Larry Coffman, who gained national recognition through his work at Prince George's County in Maryland. Brozowski provides this defining quote from Larry Coffman: “It's basically optimizing the use of the landscape to the best extent possible, and not just minimizing the impacts of stormwater runoff, but replicating the water balance. It boils down to being more aware of how we can work with the landscape to make it work for us instead of against us.”



Before STORMWATER, The Journal for Surface Water Quality Professionals, there was no single publication written specifically for  the professional involved with surface water quality issues, protection, projects, and programs. To download a copy of the article by Carol Brzozowski, click on this link to Sustainable Stormwater. Carol Brzozowski is a journalist living in Coral Springs, Florida.


Posted July  2008