Green Infrastructure: Permeable pavement can be an important tool for retention and detention of stormwater runoff. Permeable pavement may provide additional benefits, including reducing the need for de-icing chemicals, and providing a durable and aesthetically pleasing surface.
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photo illustrating an example of pervious concrete
An example of pervious concrete.
permeable asphalt photo
Permeable asphalt bikeway in Germany.

Permeable pavements allow stormwater runoff to filter through surface voids into an underlying stone reservoir for temporary storage and/or infiltration. The most commonly used permeable pavement surfaces are pervious concrete, porous asphalt, and permeable interlocking concrete pavers (PICP). Permeable pavements have been used for areas with light traffic at commercial and residential sites to replace traditional impervious surfaces in low-speed roads, alleys, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, plazas, and patios. While permeable pavements can withstand truck loads, permeable pavement has not been proven in areas exposed to high repetitions of trucks or in high speed areas because its’ structural performance and surface stability have not yet been consistently demonstrated in such applications.

While design details vary, all permeable pavements have a similar structure, consisting of a surface pavement layer, an underlying stone aggregate reservoir layer, optional underdrains and geotextile over uncompacted soil subgrade. From a hydrologic perspective, permeable pavement is typically designed to manage rainfall landing directly on the permeable pavement surface. Permeable pavement surfaces may accept runoff contributed by adjacent impervious areas such as driving lanes or rooftops. The capacity of the underlying reservoir limits the contributing area. Run-on from adjacent vegetated areas is generally not recommended and if it occurs, must be stabilized and not generate sediment as its transport accelerates permeable pavement surface clogging.

Caution: Sediment control (pretreatment) from adjacent impervious or vegetated contributing areas is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to avoid clogging of the permeable pavement surface

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Permeable pavement articles

Several fact sheets for permeable pavement provide overview information and information on design, construction and maintenance, and volume and pollutant removal.

Related pages

This page was last edited on 22 December 2022, at 21:06.