EPA to test porous pavement and raingarden benefits

11 11 2009

1700 Charlotte
1700 Charlotte in Nashville
Combines Porous Concrete & Bioswales

Traditional asphalt parking lots may seem to be the most cost efficient, but underlying costs such as increased pollution and water load on our sewer systems need to be considered as well. In an attempt to measure those underlying costs the EPA has replaced nearly 43,000 SF of their traditional asphalt parking with 3 different types of permeable pavement systems and several raingardens with different planted vegetation. At their Edison, NJ facility they will conduct a decade long study to evaluate and document the performances of these permeable systems on the basis of removing pollutants and filtering capabilities. Having these systems all in the same location will likely result in more balanced testing of each material.

This study comes at an ideal time as many cities are beginning to re-evaluate old paving methods in order to reduce the load on existing sewer systems or just to reduce the amount of toxin runoff from paved surfaces to our nearby rivers and lakes. Traditional asphalt parking lots collect oil, grease and other debris over time, after a heavy rain or snowstorm these toxins are washed from the parking surface to the nearest storm drain or permeable surface. Replacing this impervious surface with a permeable pavement or raingarden will allow plants and soils to naturally filter the pollutants, while re-charging the ground water table.

Porous for Blog
Porous Concrete

-Will Marth