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Galveston Bay Low Impact Development

The Bayou Preservation Association implemented low impact development practices and quantified reductions in nonpoint source pollutants through monitoring and modeling.


Low impact development (LID) uses or mimics natural processes to manage and treat stormwater as close to its source as possible. LID incorporates pollution prevention strategies in site planning and design to create a more economically sustainable and ecologically functional landscape. Examples include rain gardens, rainwater harvesting, vegetative rooftops, permeable pavement, and bioretention facilities.

Over the next few decades, the City of Houston and Harris county plan to install infrastructure with LID features that help improve water quality. New LID techniques need to demonstrate the greatest water quality benefit to the city, and will inform updates to the Harris County LID & Green Infrastructure Design Criteria for Stormwater Management Manual.

More data are needed on how successful LID features retain, detain, and infiltrate stormwater due to Houston/Harris county's flood prone topography. This demonstration project aimed to quantify as many reductions of nonpoint source pollutants as possible, including bacteria, nutrients, suspended solids, and heavy metals.

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Project Description

The Bayou Preservation Association (BPA) worked with stakeholders to select LID best management practices (BMPs) for demonstration, as well as BMP sites and water quality parameters to sample and model. Project staff collected pre-construction stormwater samples at two sites for comparison with post-construction samples and to inform models. BPA evaluated several LID tools that might be effective in managing stormwater flows and in improving the quality of water discharged into local water bodies. The project was completed in May 2017.

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For More Information

Visit the Bayou Preservation Association webpage.

To find out more about the NPS Program, call 512-239-6682 or e-mail us at

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