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May 16

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The Eco-Magic of Permeable Pavement

You won’t believe what happens when water hits this surface—listen up:

(Alisha Goldstein, EPA)

And presto: Runoff-proof pavement. (Alisha Goldstein, EPA)

Now you see it, now you don’t…that’s what happens when rain falls on the magical pavement pictured here. With this wondrous material, water pools up briefly, and then seems to simply disappear into the surface.

That’s quite the opposite of traditional, impermeable pavements, from which water runs right off, washing waste and debris into storm drains and waterways.

But it’s no illusion—with the right material, stormwater does actually seep through small pores in the pavement, and then soak slowly into the ground. In this process, pollutants are filtered out or consumed by organisms in the soil.

Called permeable pavement, these porous substances can make attractive and functional patios, driveways, and parking lots. Some look like paved brick or cobblestone, others like conventional concrete—but all have one thing in common: when it comes to reducing runoff, they do the trick.

Get schooled:

The fine print:

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/stormwater-management/permeable-pavement/