Permeable pavement uses permeable materials as paving methods for roads, walkways and parking lots. This low-impact form of development allows air and water to travel through the chosen material and percolate into the soil beneath. Additionally, space between the permeable pavements enables vegetation to grow. These characteristics work together to increase the amount of stormwater runoff collected, filtered and returned to the watershed when compared to non-permeable, traditional paved passageways.
- An increase of infiltration into the soil increases recharge of groundwater supplies.
- A reduction in the volume of wasted runoff water reduces erosion and siltation on the surrounding environment.
- Heavy metals and other large contaminants may be trapped within the pavement, meaning they do not enter the groundwater or the watershed.
- Added room for the growth of root systems means an increase in the number and size of trees that grow in urban spaces.
- These structures require comprehensive maintenance contracts because grit and gravel from the material can block open pores and limit the system’s effectiveness.
- This material works best when used in conjunction with other green infrastructure, materials and methods.
- Onsite soils must meet minimum permeability requirements for the system to be effective at removing water contaminants.
- There may be limitations on the amount and weight of traffic that travels over the paved structure, depending upon the specific type and design of the pervious pavement.
- Adjacent landscaping should be placed below the elevation of the pervious pavement to minimize sediment transport from the landscaping that may clog the pervious pavement.
- The use of embedded ring infiltrometers is encouraged to aid in determining when the pervious pavement requires maintenance or replacement.
See the Retrofit Considerations page for guidance in integrating permeable pavement with an existing water management system.
Porous pavements allow water to percolate down into the soil, unlike traditional pavements that keep water on the surface. Courtesy of UCF Stormwater Management Academy
The spaces in pervious pavement allow water to pass through easily. Courtesy of National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
This lattice design incorporates the use of grass to reduce stormwater runoff, while also functioning as a suitable parking area. Courtesy of UCF Stormwater Management Academy