Porous pavement: helping to contend with flooding?

New requirement for parking lots seen as step alleviating flooding

Thomas Perumean
September 11, 2019 - 6:57 am

Getty Images - Murmakova


Porous pavement, permeable pavement, or heavy duty open grating. 

Whatever its known as, the New Orleans City Council has decided all new pavement parking surfaces must pitch aside asphalt and go with new pervious pavement.  

The idea is allow rainwater to sink down into the ground where it falls, instead of running off to an overtaxed storm drain.  Doing so will slow ground subsidence and promote undergrowth to hold the ground in times of heavy rainfall.  

A Times-Picayune/Advocate story says current lots don't need to replace their asphalt with porous pavements, just new one.  Asphalt can continue to be used in driveways on those lots since they need the additional support for moving vehicles.  

Porous pavement solutions come in differing types, from plastic paving with large open grids to concrete forms with small grids to types which lay over a layer of small stones.  The idea is to keep the one-and-a-quarter inches of rainfall from heading for the storm drain systems.  

Such an idea was first presented over six years ago in the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan.  Porous paving is now required in many suburban developments in west where drought stricken cities look to recover as much rain water as possible for recharging aquifers.  


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