A pervious or permeable substance can allow water to pass through. Therefore, pervious concrete is a unique type typically made from a mixture of cement, water, coarse aggregate, and a bit of sand. The mixture is carefully combined in quantified ratios to ensure that the concrete has adequate porosity to allow water and air to penetrate the underlying layers, thus making it puddle-proof.
Pervious concrete is increasingly gaining popularity across the United States. Using this material for your pavement, driveways, walkways, etc., is considered the best stormwater management practice by the US Environmental Protection Agency(EPA). That is because the material naturally filters stormwater from the surface into the ground.
How Pervious Concrete Works
Fundamentally, pervious concrete allows liquid content like water to pass through. The permeability level highly depends on the number of voids in the concrete and their size. The standard flow rate of a pervious concrete Is approximately 200 liters per square meter per minute. Additionally, the rough texture of the material makes it easier to drive on, even in bad weather such as rain and snow. Its coarse texture increases the friction between the surface and tires, thus promoting better grip.
What are the Benefits of Using Pervious Concrete?
The benefits of permeable concrete are primarily environmental. This makes it ideal for use in commercial and residential properties. These benefits include:
- Reduces surface run-off: the pervious concrete promotes zero run-offs by seeping water into the ground
- Offers filtration of stormwater: the coarse and fine aggregates trap dirt, thus allowing clearer water into the soil, thus, water bodies such as ponds, streams, and lakes.
- Reduces the need for irrigation for landscaping: more water goes into the ground.
- Reduces the need for storm sewers: more water goes back into the ground, reducing the stormwater surface run-off. Consequently, it saves on drainage system costs.
- Promotes the growth of trees: plants can retain more water which is vital for their development.
- Eliminates hydrocarbon pollution from other types of pavements such as asphalt.
Other Important benefits of pervious concrete are:
- They are puddle proof thus promoting safer driving and walking.
- It has a light color and structure that discourages the absorption and storage of heat, unlike typical pavements.
- They are aesthetically attractive, thus creating a beautiful curb appeal.
Examples of Places to Use Pervious Concrete
Slopy driveways are notorious for run-off, especially on rainy and snowy days. Installing a pervious concrete runway significantly cuts the cost of expanding the drainage system as the self-draining concrete allows as much water as possible to flow into the underlying ground. Additionally, a slopy driveway can be pretty tricky to drive on, thus increasing the risk for accidents. However, the rough nature of the pervious concrete enhances the grip between the driveway’s surface and your tires. A pervious driveway also protects the surrounding wetlands.
2. Zero Run-off Parking Areas
Pervious concrete is an excellent structural way to utilize space all year round, especially for flat or muddy zones such as parking areas. A zero run-off parking area promotes safety and dissipates rainwater back to nature as intended.
Greenhouses are essentially created to promote a balance in the ecosystem. Using pervious concrete in and around greenhouses is an exceptional way to boost these efforts as stormwater is filtered and drains back into the ground. This technology promotes science by reducing the need for irrigation while managing wastewater. As a result, using draining concrete aids learners observe and analyzing better environmental practices firsthand.
The benefits of pervious concrete are undeniably numerous. The initial installation cost may be a little higher than other materials. However, the long-term effects are incredibly rewarding and environmentally sound. It is a cost-effective way to manage wastewater and take care of your property in an eco-friendly fashion.