The growing demand for permeable surfaces have been driven largely by technological advances that make permeable surfaces more flexible for businesses, councils and residents.
Many residents require permeable surfaces to reduce the impact of flooding on their property. Businesses find porous surfaces an effective way to manage waste water without the need for expensive irrigation systems. Councils prefer permeable surfaces because it reduces the amount of toxic water entering local riverbeds and creeks that impact the local plant and animal ecosystem.
What are the examples of permeable surfaces?
- Permeable Pavers which allow water to permeate through the voids between the pavers into the ground below
- Permeable Asphalt or Concrete that have a mix that allow water to infiltrate the surface and pass through it
- Porous Grids that are plastic frames which can be filled with pervious materials such as gravel or grass
What is not a permeable surface?
Permeable surfaces that do not allow water to secrete through them are considered non-permeable. The majority of urban surfaces are not permeable, these are general asphalt roads, concrete footpaths and driveways.
In order to avoid major flooding issues, non permeable surfaces typically have a suitable irrigation system to adequately transfer large volumes of water from surface into water catchments.
How to choose the best permeable surface for your project?
The most common way to determine what surface to choose is to consider the weight that the material will need to support.
Porous Pavers can support large weight, but do not do well with fast moving cars. Therefore they are very suitable as a driveway or for foot traffic.
Permeable Asphalt can take on significant weight and the smooth surfaces allow for speed. The concrete has specifically been chosen to allow vehicles to drive on them so they are suitable for Roads, as well as driveways or parking lots.
Plastic Permeable grids don't typically support big weights so they are more suitable for growing grass or vegetation on top and providing general structure on a sloping ground. They can be used for a small parking lot but will need sun if you do grow vegetation.