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Permeable Pavements: Green Initiatives

Permeable pavement is a porous pavement that filters and allows a portion of roadway and/or parking lot runoff to infiltrate the surface to recharge ground water sources. The permeable pavement program was created to reduce runoff from land use developments and educate local governments on the benefits of permeable pavements.

Public infrastructure such as sidewalks, bike paths, and parking facilities constructed or retrofitted with permeable pavements in place ease the strain on drainage systems by diverting a portion of surface runoff to ground water reserves. They are cost effective because they reduce a development’s dependence on swales (artificial dips or slopes in the surface designed to channel, filter and increase infiltration), retention ponds, and other stormwater management tools.

Permeable Pavement
Permeable Pavement Diagram

Frequently used pavement types include:

1.  Plastic:  A plastic honeycomb-shaped grid that allows grass
     or other vegetation to grow in between.

2.  Concrete:  Composed of concrete blocks with seams in
      between for better drainage.

3.  Asphalt/concrete (pictured):  Composed of an asphalt and
     concrete surface with fine particles left out to make it more
     porous for better filtration.


Benefits of Permeable Pavement

  • Filters runoff for pollutants that may run off into drinking water sources
  • Replenishes ground water sources
  • Reduces flood risks
  • More aesthetically appealing than traditional concrete pavement

 Links and Resources

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