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Permeable/Porous Pavement

Porous pavers in the Pokagon Development [Click here to view full size picture]
Porous pavers in the Pokagon Development

Permeable or porous pavement surfaces are suited for parking lots, low traffic residential streets and sidewalks.  The porous or permeable surfaces allow stormwater to infiltrate into underlying soils promoting pollutant treatment and groundwater recharge, as opposed to producing large volumes of rainfall runoff requiring conveyance and treatment.


Since paved surfaces make up a large portion of the urban (or developed) landscape, the use of porous/permeable surfaces is very effective at stabilizing the hydrologic condition of a site.  A secondary benefit of porous/permeable paving is its performance in snowy conditions.  Cahill Associates reports an increase in demand for the installation of permeable asphalt in the Northeast as a result of reduced maintenance costs (snow shoveling and desalting) due to rapid snowmelt as a result of the permeable surfaces.


Typical uses include parking bays, parking lanes, sidewalks, and roads.  Block pavers, bricks and porous/permeable asphalt or concrete are generally used in higher traffic parking and roadway applications; while plastic grid systems are more commonly used in auxiliary parking areas and roadways.  Porous pavement is ideal for commercial, industrial, and residential (urban, suburban, ultra-urban) and is suitable for new construction and redevelopment projects.




Permeable paving options include permeable asphalt, permeable concrete, grid block pavers, plastic grids, vegetated grids, Belgium block, turf block, gravel, cobbles, brick, natural stone, etc.

Water is able to flow through permeable pavement [Click to open page http://www3.jetro.go.jp/cgi/ttppoas/an_dsp.cgi?keyid=1070942&seq=1 in a new window
Water is able to flow through permeable pavement
Click here to view full size picture
This page last updated on 8/13/2007.
Southwest Michigan Planning Commission  
376 West Main Street  Suite 130  Benton Harbor, MI 49022-3651
Phone: 269.925.1137  Fax: 269.925.0288  

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