Low Impact Development and Green Infrastructure


Municipal Office

395 Mulock Drive P.O. Box 328 Station Main, Newmarket, Ontario
L3Y 4X7

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​​​​​​What is Low Impact Development (LID)?

Low Impact Development (LID), also known as green infrastructure, is a method of managing stormwa​ter as close to the source as possible by mimicking the natural water cycle. The focus of LIDs is on capturing and storing rain where it falls, filtering it through the soil, and/or recharging groundwater.

Some examples of LID include:

  • Rain Gardens
  • Bioswales
  • Permeable paving
  • Green roofs
  • Rain barrels and cisterns
  • Urban Trees

Why is Low Impact Development important?

As we continue to develop lands and become more urbanized, we create more hard surfaces in the Town and additional stormwater runoff.

map of Newmarket showing stormwater runoff intensities with the text open a map of stormwater runoff intensities in Newmarket

Most properties in Newmarket contain mostly clay, poor draining soils, making it difficult for water to infiltrate into the soil. Low Impact Developments replaces the native clay soils for layers of aggregate material and better draining soil, allowing water to infiltrate into the ground quickly.

Stormwater runoff al​so contains phosphorus, which in excess quantities​ has upset Lake Simcoe's ecosystem. This unbalance, paired with large quantities of stormwater runoff, has led to excessive aquatic plant growth, raised water temperatures, and decreased oxygen levels in the Lake; putting pressure on our aquatic species. ​

By implementing LIDs we can:

  • Reduce the amount ​of water going into our Stormwater Facilities, therefore reducing maintenance costs
  • Increase the recharge of our groundwater systems to ensure future clean drinking water
  • Filter pollutants out of the water
  • Reduce flooding and erosion risks
  • Protect aquatic animals and habitats
  • Reduce the amount of ground covered by hard surfaces
  • Protect green spaces

Municipalities across Ontario, including Newmarket, are experiencing more intense and frequent weather events due to climate change. According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, water and wind damage caused by severe weather is now the number one risk factor in the country for insurance claims. Due to these changes in the environment, there is more stormwater than ever before, meaning stormwater management expenses are also increasing. Visit the What is the Town doing? page to learn more about stormwater initiatives around Newmarket.