Cities are known for being concrete jungles, where the land is completely paved over in the industrious greys and blacks of concrete and asphalt. This often causes issues like flooding because the pavement isn’t made with the ability to drain water in mind, and corralling all the water to certain drainage spots presents its own problems. Here’s why cities need to utilize permeable paving to improve the infrastructure of the municipality.
Managing Storm Water
Flooding often occurs after heavy rainfall because non-porous paving materials don’t allow the water to return to the soil. Instead, it pools up and is directed toward a drainage grate. These grates are inefficient draining methods because only so much water can move through them at a time. With permeable paving, water will simply drain through the pavement no matter where it falls, more evenly distributing drainage so that water can’t pool and flood streets. Furthermore, rather than depositing the water into the sewer system, permeable paving allows the water to simply return to the soil underneath.
Protecting the Environment
By allowing water to harmlessly return to the soil, the surrounding environment becomes much healthier. Current drainage systems that direct water typically results in polluted water, as the water picks up pollutants, oil, and other chemicals as it runs along streets while moving toward drains. Permeable paving allows the water to drain directly into the soil, reducing the risk of it becoming polluted and allowing natural greenery to thrive despite the urban environment.
To further improve a city’s environmental impact, cities need to utilize permeable paving materials because they’re made from recycled materials. Aggregate like permeable gravel can be made from old paving materials and used once more, rather than having to make fresh materials from scratch. Recycling materials requires a mere fraction of the energy and resources it would take to create all-new materials.
Lastly, appearances play a role in a city’s health. Permeable paving is an attractive improvement for any municipality to take advantage of. It looks nice and can be used to replace elements like grates protecting tree pits, or it can act as a layer over dirt and soil that allows plants to thrive without worrying about mud making a mess of the area.