Facilities - Permeable Pavers

Permeable pavements and pavers

Permeable pavements and pavers allow stormwater to infiltrate the underlying aggregate base, where it soaks into the ground or drains to a system of underdrains. This reduces runoff and helps to mimick the natural hydraulic cycle. Maintaing permeable pavements helps to prevent standing water, which is a sign the pavements are not infiltrating properly. Permeable pavements include permeable pavers, pervious concrete, porous asphalt and grass pavers. 

Depending on the system and use, paver gaps may be filled with various infiltrating material. In lower traffic areas, a soil and planting mix could be used, while in higher traffic areas, a gravel system may be more appropriate. Pervious pavements typically consist of a layer of specially formulated concrete or asphalt on top of a thick layer of gravel (8-24 inches).  As water passes through the pavement and gravel, contaminants are filtered out. Routine maintenance of these pavements is needed to allow water to pass freely. 

 

Four types of permeable pavements in clockwise order: permeable pavers, grass pavers, pervious concrete and porous asphalt.

1 - permeable pavers, 2 - grass pavers,
3 - pervious concrete, 4 - porous asphalt

 

Virtual tour

Click on the image below to visit a demonstration parking lot featuring different permeable pavements and learn about maintenance practices.

permeable pavement virtual tour 400x200.jpg

 

Where you'll find it:

Permeable pavements can be used for roads, driveways, sidewalks or parking lots. They can also be used in conjunction with traditional pavements, such as grass pavers at the end of a concrete driveway. 

When to maintain it:

Perform basic housekeeping maintenace once or twice a year on dry days. Look for standing water during rain events.

What you'll need:

  • push broom
  • dust pan
  • pressure washer without soap (optional)

A vacuum street sweeper may also be needed to maintain large areas of permeable pavements.

Tools you'll need:

permeable pavement tools including push broom, dust pan and pressure washer

Problem:

Standing water on permeable pavement.
Standing water indicates this porous concrete is not draining properly.

Correct:

permeable pavement that is draining properly.
This porous concrete is draining properly.

Permeable pavement maintenance tasks include:

Inlets, outlets and curb cuts

Clearing a curb cut around permeable pavers.
Locate inlets, outlets and curb cuts. Clear trash, debris and sediment.

Sweep

Sweeping porous concrete.
Use as broom to sweep up small chips, moss and debris. Dispose with regular trash.

Pressure wash

permeable pavement pressure washing
Using a specialized pressure washer with water alone may be another option. Contact your local jurisdiction.

Vacuum street sweep

A vacuum street sweeper on permeable pavement.
If ponding water persists or the area is very large, you can hire a vacuum street sweeper.

Printable maintenance card

permeable pavement rack card cover.jpg

 English - Español - русский

Maintenance sheets

Permeable pavement  (includes pervious concrete, porous asphalt, permeable pavers, open-celled paving grid with gravel or grass)

 

Maintenance is needed if you see these signs

Pervious Pavers
Permeable pavers

Standing water during or after rainfall

Visible debris or sediment on pavement surface

Height of gravel between pavers depleted by more than .5 inches

Moss growth inhibits infiltration or poses slip safety hazard

 

Tips for fixing problems and general maintenance

Distribute gravel over pavers and sweep into joints between pavers

Replace broken pavers as needed to prevent structural instability