Rebar Alternatives Save Big $$$

Contact Us

Fill out the form below to request more information from our Bladensburg location.

"*" indicates required fields

Consent*
Hidden
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

View our privacy policy

MD: Bladensburg (HQ)

(301) 927-8300

4700 Annapolis Road, Bladensburg, MD 20710, USA

Mon-Fri 6:30AM to 4:00PM Saturday 6:30AM to 12:00PM Sunday CLOSED

Get In Touch with someone at MD: Bladensburg (HQ)
(301) 927-8300

"*" indicates required fields

Accepted file types: pdf, txt, Max. file size: 2 MB.
Hidden
Response time within 4 hours

Permeable Pavement – Failure

Aaron Fisher | February 21, 2022

We developed permeable pavements to handle stormwater by mimicking the natural environment. However, in many cases the permeable surfaces are only slightly better than conventional asphalt and concrete. Which begs the question are we doing any good?

First, let me start by addressing the is it working question. Answer: Yes, it works. But, in the same way you can tell time with a sundial instead of a watch—it’s not the best way to address your problem.

To prove my point, I pulled marketing videos from 3 of the most common permeable pavement systems (Generation 1 Systems) to show some of their limitations.

Porous Asphalt- the worst offender

In this marketing video they use a low flow hose and the water runs at least 50 feet, with a good chunk of it running OFF of the permeable surface. If the bar to clear is traditional asphalt…it’s better. Honestly this marketing video makes porous asphalt for handling stormwater seems more symbolic then functional.

More reasons to avoid porous asphalt.

Marked Up Screenshot of Porous Asphalt

Porous Asphalt Demonstration showing water running 50+ feet (source: www.youtube.com/watch?v=I16WGau3jxE)

Permeable Interlocking Pavers

Interlocking concrete pavers are pavement surfaces that are constructed in such a way as to allow water through their joints. In this video a large volume of water was dumped on the surface. Water appears to go about 60 feet along the surface before infiltrating. Additionally there is clearly sheet flow.

It is better than porous asphalt as they clearly challenged the system by using a large amount of water. It also does not pond on the surface for long any real period of time on the surface. Both big positives. However, this is a brand new system under ideal conditions, and clearly leaves a lot of room for improved performance.

 

Interlocking Permeable Pavers Commentary

Water Running About 60 feet Across Interlocking Pavers (Source: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rsODZXPyCY&t=37s&ab_channel=Interpave)

Pervious Concrete

In this high-flow demonstration water splays out about 8 feet from it’s point of origin. As seen from the previous two videos, it could certainly be worse, but it can also be better.

As with these other systems though beware that these videos and stills are best conditions. Real field performance will certainly be lower, and long-term stability challenges these first generation permeable pavement systems.

Pervious Concrete Commented

Pervious Concrete Demonstration (Source: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wm4H65EDbE)

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)

Just built permeable pavement systems under ideal conditions, are not always great at handling stormwater. As engineers and citizens we need to demand better of these systems that are supposed to SOLVE our stormwater challenges.

2nd Generation Permeable Pavement Systems are available and offer clear performance benefits over Gen 1 systems

———–

Concerned about working with a less than perfect stormwater management system. Ernest Maier’s experts can help.

VP of Business DevelopmentAaron Fisher

Phone
Location
MD: Bladensburg (HQ)
Languages
English

Latest News

Ernest Maier and Gomoljak Counter Price Sheet

Ernest Maier and Gomoljak Counter Price Sheet

Pricing accurate as of 10/3/2022 and valid for Annapolis, Bladensburg, and Gaithersburg locations (contact us for bulk pricing and delivery): […]

Read More
Green Streets = Better Roads

Green Streets = Better Roads

The Dark Side of Hard Surfaces We love hard surfaces: they speed up movement as roads and sidewalks, they allow […]

Read More
Extreme Events in Stormwater Regulation

Extreme Events in Stormwater Regulation

Most of the Time vs. Most of the Problems There is a big problem with stormwater regulations. The rules are […]

Read More
2022 Building Code Updates: Fiberglass Rebar

2022 Building Code Updates: Fiberglass Rebar

Fiberglass rebar (in the codes as glass fiber reinforced polymer [GFRP]) is an amazing product that had quite a banner […]

Read More