Elbow Valley, Rocky View County

1997 - 2004

Ahead of its time, the 5-year award winning Elbow Valley project incorporated numerous and various types of Low Impact Development (LID) principles and Best Management Practices (BMPs). The area does not feature any storm sewers, even within those parts of the development that have higher densities. Instead, ditches are provided for conveyance and stormwater treatment. Traditional curb and gutter streetscapes can be seen in selected areas; however, these areas ultimately drain into the system’s grassed swales.

The area disturbed was minimized to the greatest extent feasible. On the upper benches existing vegetation was retained where possible, while lot grading and drainage plans were prepared for each and every lot to minimize impacts on the surrounding area. On some lots, the size of the driveway was reduced to simple narrow strips of concrete.

An area containing low lying natural depressions was enhanced and utilized as a series of stormwater management facilities. The three tiered wetland system treats stormwater runoff from both roadside ditches and back yards in a treatment-train fashion. As the water flows through the system its quality is improved. A series of cascading wetlands provides an aesthetic waterscaping feature for the neighboring development. Other features include cascading ponds in roadside ditches and on-lot rain gardens with rain harvesting measures such as oversized rain barrels used to store rainwater for irrigation purposes.


“Water is the driving force of all nature”
— Leonardo Da Vinci