Porous Pavement – Go Green

Permeable pavement (also known as pervious or porous concrete) is a specific type of pavement with a high porosity that allows rainwater to pass through it into the ground below.

Through this movement, pervious concrete mimics the natural process that occurs on the ground’s surface, consequently reducing runoff and returning water to underground aquifers.  It also traps suspended solids and pollutants, keeping them from polluting the water stream. Pervious concrete has many applications, most commonly:

low-volume pavements, residential roads and driveways, sidewalks parking lot slow-water bridges patios well linings walls (including load-bearing walls)swimming pool decks

History:

Pervious concrete was first seen in the 1800s in Europe and was used for various structural purposes, including load-bearing walls, infill panels, and pavement surfacing.  It became popular again overseas after World War II due to the scarcity of cement.

Although not a new innovation, pervious concrete has only been implemented in the United States in the past fifty years.  The concept was proposed in the 1960s in hopes of reducing floods, raising water tables, and replenishing aquifers, while a decade later the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began testing it to determine its cost and efficiency.  These tests were done at various sites in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Texas, with Texas being the most significant site since it was the only one to have installed monitoring instruments.

The first official design guide for pervious pavement  was co-written in 1977 by Edmund Thelen and L. Fielding Howe in Philadelphia, PA.  Titled “Porous Pavement,” this document provided the groundwork for permeable pavement education and is still referred to today for guidelines and information.

Permeable concrete is now used in multiple cities throughout the U.S. and its number of applications has grown drastically over the past ten years, from driveways and sidewalks to commercial and multi-acre spaces.

Environmental Benefits:

Eliminates runoff

Recharges groundwater

Traps suspended solids and pollutants

Reduces surface temperatures and, therefore, the heat island effect

Eliminates the need for retention basins and water collection areas

CHECK OUT THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE

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