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Upper San Antonio River: Incorporating LID Practices at the Mission Drive-In Redevelopment

The City of San Antonio incorporated several low-impact development (LID) features into a multipurpose redevelopment project.


Since 2000, portions of the Upper San Antonio River (Segment 1911) have had elevated concentrations of bacteria, indicating increased risk to swimmers and others engaged in contact recreation in the river. In 2006, the San Antonio River Authority completed the Upper San Antonio Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) for the portion of this segment upstream of Loop 410 South in San Antonio. The WPP recommends management measures for improving water quality. In 2007 TCEQ adopted a total maximum daily load (TMDL) to address elevated bacteria.

One management measure of the WPP is to implement low impact development to provide greater control of bacteria in runoff than conventional practices. Low impact development 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.

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Project Description

For this project, the City of San Antonio designed and installed several LID features to reduce pollution in stormwater runoff in its redevelopment of the Mission Drive-In site on Roosevelt Avenue. These features are an infiltration basin, pervious (turf) plaza surface, pervious pavement overlay on driveway and parking spaces, two bioswales, a rain garden, and a rainwater harvesting system connected to the site irrigation system. Project staff monitored the performance of the LID features and analyzed their cost-to-benefit ratio. Finally, project staff examined and reported on the potential for incorporating these features as standard components in the city's development review standards. The project was completed in May 2015.

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For More Information

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

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