Permeable Pavement for Environmentally-Friendly Solutions
The way that parking lots, driveways and patios are paved is quite detrimental to the environment. There is new technology available that is much more green-friendly. It's healthier for the soil and the aquifers.
Rainwater runs off paved areas into streams and sewers. Chemicals and other pollutants are accumulated in this rainwater, which affects the aquifers. Sometimes this run-off causes flooding as well, since the water doesn't have a place to drain into. The new technology allows for the water to percolate down through the soil. This process of percolation allows the soil to naturally filtrate and thereby clean the water. Thus, the aquifers are replenished with cleaner water. The soil also depends on rainwater, in order to maintain a healthy state of balance. Piping storm water away from large paved areas is not necessary with this technology, so that cost is eliminated.
This new technology has a variety of forms and companies are continually coming out with new varieties. Permeable pavers are one form that is popular. They are made from concrete or cut stone and placed on gravel or sand. They are spaced in such a way that the water drains between them. Another available technology is open cell concrete blocks that are strong enough to support cars. They also sit on sand or gravel. The water drains through the cells and grass grows through them. This is wonderfully attractive for a grassy driveway that won't build up heat.
Porous pavement is another wonderful technology made from cut stone and aggregate. This is great for patios. The water percolates down through the stones, so your patio won't flood. Concrete costs a lot to produce and so this is a great technology with nice benefits.
Some cities are now using high strength plastic grids for less-traveled roads. They are filled with either gravel or sand and soil and sit on a composite material. Grass can grow on the surface. The grids and grass together prevent erosion and also allow rainwater to gradually be absorbed by the soil.