Pervious Pavement Alternatives

March 9, 2012 — 1,235 views  

Groundwater is a critical component of many ecosystems around the world. However, this source of streams, wells and lakes can sometimes be polluted by a number of different industrial wastes. These may include radioactive byproducts, chemical runoff and even sewage leaking from faulty pipes. Such hazardous materials are mandated to be stored in waterproof containers, but what about pollutants that can leak through soil and roads?

Pervious pavement is the answer for construction professionals looking to remain environmentally-friendly. This unique asphalt- or cement-based mixture has tiny air pockets that are left over from the manufacturing process. This way, water can trickle down past the bottom base of gravel without getting stuck in the above layer, where it could freeze and possibly crack the top. The integrated materials can filter out pollutants and only allow water from storms and other sources to flow through to the groundwater below.

Other benefits of pervious pavement include limited maintenance and a durability of at least 20 years if correctly installed and finished. Despite these benefits, beware of installing this substance on areas with high sediment loads - because the material is so porous, a severe storm can cause enough water to leak through that heavy eroision can occur immediately.