permeable pavement

Save the Rivers, Repave Your Driveway

Installing a driveway made from permeable pavement is better for the planet and for your health.

By Emily Main


Save the Rivers, Repave Your Driveway

Busted asphalt? Replace it with something permeable.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Want to keep your lawn watered for free and save America's most endangered rivers at the same time? Rip out your driveway and install permeable pavement.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that it would start testing a variety of permeable pavements, surrounded by rain gardens, at an Edison, New Jersey, parking lot to see which are the most efficient at keeping pollutants like motor oil and pesticides out of storm drains.

Permeable pavement acts like a water filter, allowing water to soak through the surface into sandy soils beneath, where the water feeds lawns or evaporates back into the air. It helps reduce erosion, as well as the amount of pollution that washes into rivers and streams.

Impermeable surfaces, on the other hand, can act like log flumes, overwhelming storm systems and water-treatment facilities to the point that they overflow, and sometimes even carry raw sewage into waterways. "With asphalt, all you ask is for it to carry a load and shed water," says William F. Hunt III, PhD, associate professor in the biological and agricultural engineering department at North Carolina State University. "That's why they're so efficient, and the reason impermeable pavement was developed and became the standard."

Porous concrete and other surfaces are so efficient at managing runoff that they're used on all the interstates in Georgia and Oregon.

Published on: November 5, 2009
Updated on: March 11, 2010

Phillips Contracting, Inc. in

Phillips Contracting, Inc. in Chalfont, Bucks County, PA 18914 designs and installs permeable paver driveways, walkways, outdoor living spaces etc.,also rain water harvesting systems. If you would like more information please contact us at or phone 215-822-3866


It would be neat to have example pictures comparing impervious, pervious, & pavers.


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