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  • County stormwater manual wins national honor

    Jul 21, 2016 | Read More News
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    The Arizona American Society of Landscape Architects presented the “Honor Award” to a non-profit organization and a group of businesses and agencies, including Pima County, for a manual to help residents, designers and developers in the desert capture and use stormwater to green up their community.  

    The working group that created the “Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure Guidance Manual” comprised representatives from Pima County's Regional Flood Control CisternDistrict, Department of Environmental Quality, and Office of Sustainability & Conservation; City of Tucson’s Office of Integrated Planning and Tucson Water; Pima Association of Governments; private consultants including Stan Tech, Tetra Tech and Wheat Design Group; and the Watershed Management Group non-profit.

    Design principles in the LID & GI Manual are specific to the Desert Southwest. The LID Working Group wrote the manual for homeowners, designers and developers so they could effectively use stormwater runoff, thereby reducing water and energy bills, and enhancing the vegetation around their home or business. The professionals integrated their various disciplines to create the first-of-its-kind manual and incorporated both scientific and practical techniques. 

    The manual offers advice with easy-to-understand graphics on items such as what LID features residents can install in their own homes. For example, they can:
    • Collect rain water from downspouts and cisterns and direct it through swales (depressions in the soil) to landscaped areas;
    • Use berms and angular rocked swales to slow the stormwater flow, soak the soil to water plants, and reduce their water bill; and
    • Use collected water to promote the growth of trees strategically located on the west and south sides of structures to shade their home or structures, and reduce their energy bill
    Not only does the guidance offered in the manual show how to conserve local water resources, it also shows how stormwater runoff can be slowed down to drop its sediments and pollutants. Many pollutants are removed from the water when it infiltrates through the soil. Additional benefits include:
    • Reduction of heat that emanates from asphalt, buildings and rooftops (urban heat islands)
    • Preservation of native vegetation and soils
    • Maintenance of natural drainage patterns
    • Recharge of aquifers and wetlands
    Find the manual online. See Pima County’s LID website for more information.


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