Permeable interlocking concrete pavers (PICP) are a system of concrete pavers with layers of varying-sized stone – or aggregate – underneath that filter and direct storm water to underground aquifers. Permeable pavers are used as a way to control stormwater on developed sites. Any rain that falls on the permeable paver patio, walkway or driveway percolates between the pavers and, depending on the soil type, the water infiltrates back into the ground and/or slowly releases to the nearest storm sewer or waterway. In addition to stormwater management benefits, permeable pavers can alleviate negativity associated with drought conditions to benefit homeowners and the community at large.
Permeable pavers can also help with existing drainage issues. The surface of the pavers can be made perfectly flat, with the stone reservoir being contoured to direct the water to where it needs to go – no more surface grates or areas of standing water. By adding a few design features, the system can be used for water harvesting, with the water being usable for irrigation or washing your car. Some designs have even gone as far as creating an outdoor water park with spray jets for the kids to run through, or a shower to rinse off in after swimming.
Permeable Paver Benefits to Homeowners:
- Reduce water demand by placing pavers over grassed areas
- Aid landscaping by reducing erosion that occurs when grass is dry or dead
- Eliminate standing water on the surface where mosquitos can breed
Permeable Paver Benefits to the Community:
- Infiltrate water back into the ground to recharge local groundwater supplies
- Maintain base flows in rivers that ensure streams and ecosystems are self sustaining
- Act as filter to offer improved water quality
- Eliminate risk of evaporation of standing water and above-ground water storage
- Light paver colors are highly reflective and reduce heat island effect
- Reduce water use for landscaping
Belgard offers a number of permeable pavers, including Turfstone™ & Subterra® Stone. There are also a number of pavers that can be installed in such a way that allows water to drain through, including Eco-Dublin®, Mega-Arbel®, Old World Paver™ and Urbana®. Ask your Belgard Authorized Contractor or Dealer about using permeable pavers for your next project.