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Unraveling the Environmental Benefits of Permeable Pavers: A Complete Guide

May 21, 2024

Permeable pavers are exactly what they sound like - paving stones designed to allow water to pass through. The sustainable solution makes managing stormwater runoff easy and helps reduce the environmental impact of a hardscape. Traditional paving products like concrete and asphalt are impermeable and trap rainwater on the surface where it eventually evaporates. Permeable pavers allow rainwater to pass through, infiltrating the soil below and replenishing valuable groundwater supplies. Permeable pavers also help mitigate flooding by allowing water to pass through to be reabsorbed by the ground, making them an ideal choice for use in flood-prone areas. Permeable pavers are sometimes referred to as environmental pavers because of their eco-friendly design.

How Are Permeable Pavers Made?

Permeable paving stones, sometimes called interlocking concrete pavers, are paving stones that are made to leave gaps between individual units. This allows water to pass through, returning to the ground. The voids between paving stones are usually filled with gravel or crushed stone, serving as a reservoir for rainwater. Permeable pavers come in several sizes, shapes and materials, making them the ideal choice for any project.

What Are the Environmental Benefits?

Permeable pavers are considered an eco-friendly option when it comes to hardscaping. The paving stones offer several environmental benefits over traditional paving stones, including:

1.) Stormwater Management - Permeable paving stones are the best hardscaping product for managing stormwater runoff. By allowing rainwater to infiltrate into the ground, the paving stones help reduce the volume of water trapped on the surface, reducing the risk of flooding and mitigating erosion. Preventing erosion also helps to protect water quality in nearby areas.

2.) Replenishes Groundwater - Traditional hardscape products trap rainwater on the surface where it then evaporates. Permeable paving stones allow rainwater to pass through to the ground where it will then percolate through the soil and replenish underground aquifers. This helps maintain groundwater levels, which are essential for supporting ecosystems and communities.

3.) Improved Water Quality - Permeable paving stones can play a role in improving water quality by preventing erosion and filtering out pollutants and contaminants from stormwater runoff. When rainwater infiltrates through the paving stones to the underlying ground, it goes through a natural filtration process. This helps protect water quality, which then protects local aquatic ecosystems.

What Design Considerations Are There?

Permeable paving stones are a great choice for a variety of projects, but there are some design considerations you should take into account before installing them. It's important to assess the site conditions like the soil type, slope and drainage pattern before installing any hardscaping. Permeable paving stones work best in areas with well-draining soils and minimal slopes.

Once you've found the right location for your paving stones, the next step is to make sure you install them correctly. Follow the manufacturer guidelines and take time to ensure proper base preparation. By installing the paving stones correctly, you can ensure their longevity while also addressing any flooding or drainage concerns you may have. Like all paving products, permeable paving stones need regular maintenance to maintain optimal permeability. Deterioration and built-up debris can prevent water from passing through.

When you need a hard surface that looks good, provides ample drainage and helps maintain a healthy ecosystem, choose permeable paving stones from Nicolock Paving Stones. Stop by one of our design centers to learn more about this flexible, affordable and eco-friendly hardscape product.