Permeable Pavers: an important water quality component

Permeable pavers provide protection against increasing threats of contaminated drinking water and flooding due to development.

As new urban areas are created and existing ones built out, infiltration of natural rainfall is disrupted by rooftops, paving and other impermeable surfaces. Surface water that once was absorbed by more natural landscapes now rushes overland to receiving streams, rivers, and storm sewers. These receiving waterways often cannot safely convey the increase in runoff that was once slowly released from the site. The resulting flow carries pollutants and causes soil erosion, both of which degrade aquatic habitat and threaten water quality.

Permeable pavers offer the ability to maintain healthy on site water absorption rates and water quality while providing an attractive durable paving surface for patios, parking, and roads. Small joints between pavers provide pore space for water to enter and pass below the paving surface into a gravel reservoir that is designed to accommodate the specific water volume needs of the site. This water is filtered, cooled, and absorbed into the soil, or slowly released back into another suitable receiving waterway.

There is no need to compromise your taste for style when designing sustainably. The design options for permeable pavers are increasing. More and more manufacturers are expanding their selection of paver shapes, sizes, textures and colors.

The time has arrived when every development benefits from installing permeable pavers.

Talk to your Landscape Architect to learn more about how permeable pavers can help your development project meet its stormwater control goals more efficiently and aesthetically.

Anthony Gingrich, LA