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Solving Stormwater Pollution with Permeable Pavement
Solving Stormwater Pollution with Permeable Pavement

As is apparent in the state of Illinois and throughout the United States, stormwater management is an issue of late. Due to the increase in storms this season, the stormwater runoff for cities is higher than ever. Why this becomes a problem has much to do with the fact that this runoff from the cities becomes polluted. Stormwater has nowhere to go when it lands on streets and pavement. Thus, it carries itself to the nearest river, stream or storm drain, where it integrates back into nature, carrying any pollutants it picks up along the way. However, there exists a better method to handle stormwater, preventing it from becoming polluted and letting it integrate back into a more natural cycle: permeable pavement.

What is Permeable Pavement?

Permeable pavement is a new method for which roads, parking lots, pathways and more are paved. Much of what you see with permeable pavement is the same as typical pavement, however with one significant advantage: water can flow through it. Permeable pavement is made up of two parts: a permeable top and a porous base.

  • When water hits the pavement, it flows through the material, becoming filtered from solid materials in the process.
  • The water then trickles down through a bed of rocks, gravel or another easily permeable base, until it reaches the soil underneath.
  • There, the water recharges until the earth naturally reabsorbs it.

How Does it Help?

Before, with regular pavement or asphalt, water would hit the surface and roll into the nearest water source, carrying every material and pollutant it ran across with it. However, with the implementation of permeable pavement, water is off the road faster. Moreover, when it seeps through the pavement, the material filters it of harmful pollutants, much as soil does. By creating a way for our roads to stay intact but providing a more natural approach to store and disperse stormwater, we leave a significantly reduced environmental footprint.

 Other Benefits of Permeable Pavement

The aftereffects of permeable pavement’s process are felt further throughout the environment and the socioeconomic world. Firstly, from an environmental standard, permeable pavement:

  • Creates cleaner water supplies
  • Improves the health of wildlife
  • Reduces the chances for flooding
  • Lowers the possibility of drought
  • Produces healthier drinking water

Additionally, permeable pavement offers other benefits that better suit the infostructure of a city. The design and implementation of permeable pavement are advantageous and several ways, due to it:

  • Reducing the amount of heat that collects on the surface of the pavement
  • Eliminating the chances of the roads freezing over in cold weather
  • Combining both stormwater management and roadways into one, no longer requiring the installation of other stormwater management methods
  • Saving money by taking away the need for extra piping, drains, retention ponds and swales
  • Creating green jobs through its installation and maintenance

Overall, regular pavement requires you to develop extraneous stormwater management systems in addition to the designing, grading and building of roads. Conversely, permeable pavement can cost a little more than regular pavement but saves more money when you take stormwater management out of the equation.

Make a Commitment to Permeable Pavement

After learning about the existence of permeable pavement and its numerous advantages to regular pavement, you must want to implement it into your next project. Thankfully, when the planning stages begin, Austin Engineering can create a design with permeable pavement and other green solutions in mind.

Austin Engineering Co. works to provide professional civil engineering consulting and professional land surveying services throughout the Midwest. Since 1937, we’ve played an integral role in developing various towns and cities, most notably the Greater Peoria area. Together we work with contractors to come up with greener and energy efficient solutions to your most significant building projects.

For permeable pavement and a greener push in your next development venture, contact us at 309-204-0694. Also, we are located at 311 SW Water Street, Ste 215, Peoria, IL 61602.