Have you ever seen a grass parking lot?
Permeable pavement benefits the environment as an eco-friendly surfacing technique. It catches rainwater and allows it to slowly return to the natural water cycle rather than dump into the municipal stormwater system.
We’ve compiled this short blog to uncover how permeable pavement benefits the environment.
1.) Porous paving allows water to flow through
Firstly, permeable pavement benefits the environment by mimicking the natural hydrologic system. The spaces in the paving allow for water to pass through and slowly release into the ground. Traditional asphalt causes the rainwater to pool and flow into storm drains which re-enters local waterways as effluent.
2.) Permeable pavement requires less salt in the winter
A study undertaken at the University of New Hampshire observed that permeable asphalt only needs 0 to 25% of the salt typically applied to normal asphalt (Houle and others, 2009). The spaces in between give added traction when wet and allow the roads to dry quicker than non-porous pavement.
3.) Permeable pavement benefits by creating cooler urban environments.
Regular pavement creates a heat island effect in cities by absorbing and holding 80 – 90% of sunlight. This traps and raises the temperature of the local air contributing to global warming by radiating heat back into the atmosphere. Not cool!
4.) They create a space that supports life.
These may seem like small opportunities but the plant life and insects that thrive in these small spaces help filter the water and air that passes through them. Spot the daisy in the picture below!
5.) Permeable pavement benefits via urban beautification
You might be asking yourself ‘how pretty can a road be?’ Take a look at the image below. Porous paving creates small opportunities to add greenery into otherwise heavily constructed urban environments.
6.) Protect against flooding
It is well known that climate change brings an increased risk of flooding in urban environments. Permeable pavement benefits the environment by preventing large, fast pulses of rainwater to pass through the stormwater system.
It is increasingly important to consider these alternatives given the serious problem with stormwater runoff in urban areas.
Did you know?
Severe weather across Canada caused $2.4 billion in insured damage in 2020. Flooding, erosion and melting permafrost were found to pose the greatest harms for these damages.
We need to take action to better manage rain where it falls and protect this natural resource and the local environment.
Green infrastructure like permeable pavement helps to mimic nature. Other examples include rain gardens, bioswales, urban forests, green roofs, rain barrels and cisterns.
Have a look around your neighbourhood or city and consider where permeable pavement could be applied.
If you want to learn more water saving tips, you will love our blog post ‘6 Reasons You Should Install a Rain Barrel”
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