Infiltration! Infiltration! Infiltration!
In suburban and urban communities the natural landscape is steadily replaced with buildings, roads, parking lots, and other hard surfaces that shed water. As the amount of hard surfaces in communities continues to increase, so does the volume of water that results in stormwater runoff. Flash floods, erosion, and water pollution are the result.
By using green solutions like permeable pavers that help restore the ability of the built environment to absorb more stormwater, we can improve our region’s water quality.
Permeable pavers and permeable concrete provide a solid ground surface, strong enough to take heavy loads, like large vehicles, while at the same time they allow water to filter through the surface and reach the underlying soils. Permeable pavers are also ideal for patios, sidewalks, and driveways. The voids in the surface of the paving allow water to drain through and infiltrate into the soil below.
Benefits of Permeable Pavers & Permeable Concrete
- Reduces polluted runoff from rain water by as much as 100% depending on project design parameters; eliminates surface puddles and local flooding.
- Reduces polluted runoff, thereby mitigating impact on surrounding surface waters, and reduces downstream flooding and stream bank erosion.
- Minimizes impacts and stress on existing storm sewer systems through reduced peak discharges.
- Maximizes groundwater recharge and/or storage.
- Promotes street tree survival.
- Reduces heat island effect and thermal loading on surrounding surface waters.
- Snow melts faster on permeable pavement and drains, reducing winter ice hazards, deicing salt use, and snow removal costs.
- Decreases project cost by reducing drainage and retention/detention systems.
- Reduces cost of compliance with stormwater regulatory requirements.
- Allows better land-used planning and more efficient use of available land for greater economic value, especially in high-density, urban areas.
- Complements buildings and visually unifies streetscape; many styles and colors available.
- While there are many different materials commercially available, permeable pavers and pavement include the following four catagories: interlocking concrete paving blocks or grid pavers; natural stone; porous concrete; porous bituminous asphalt.
What To Do?
Following are some of the ways you can reduce impervious surfaces to enable water to seep into the ground:
- Two ribbons of pavement with a low groundcover in between is a more porous alternative to a solid driveway of concrete or blacktop.
- Use stepping stones surrounded by creeping groundcovers instead of continuous impermeable pathways.
- Opt for “dry laid” instead of “wet laid” or mortared patios and walkways. Set in stone dust or sand, these allow some stormwater to infiltrate into the soil, unlike the impervious cement products typically used as mortar.
- Green spaces between patios, pathways, and other impermeable spaces can help prevent stormwater from accumulating and running off your property. Plant a rain garden to capture stormwater runoff from your roof.
- Restore the structure of any compacted soil on your property, and take steps to prevent soil compaction elsewhere in your landscape.
- Various types of permeable paving, such as concrete products with a porous structure that allows water to pass directly through, can be expensive but are worth considering.
Source: Landscape For Life