Stormwater is a term used to describe water that originates during precipitation, and does not absorb into the ground but instead becomes runoff. Stormwater runoff is the largest source of water pollution, which makes controlling stormwater drainage critical to keeping our rivers and oceans clean. If we look around the built environment, particularly in New York City, there are few opportunities for water to soak into the ground in a natural way. Pavement is everywhere, and it is clear that the water quality surrounding the city suffers from it.
Permapave Permeable Pavers. Designed by Permapave.
There exists a few solutions to the issue of runoff where a paved surface is desired. I'm sure most people have seen some form of paver that is hollow in the center to allow grass or more likely dirt to be exposed. Alternatively there is the gravel surface where gravel is pressed into asphalt and then covered with loose gravel; which can be loud as well as cause denting to your car and home from flinging rocks. These products begin to address the issue of runoff, but with increased automotive traffic and the need for a solid surface for walking and driving, they are not the solution.
Permapave is a permeable all-natural stone paver, which captures surface pollution and allows water to flow through at a rate of up to 1.5 gal./sq.ft. per second. Its strength and durability allows for use in a number of applications. The company states that Permapave Pavers enable water to return directly to underground aquifers. The water permeates through the soil, filtering all remaining contaminants and leaving only pure water to return to the subterranean aquifers. Aesthetically the pavers are attractive (they are offered in a variety of colors) and provide a nice break from traditional grey concrete or asphalt.