Paved concrete surfaces are a common sight today. From driveways to parking lots we are accustomed to seeing these structures but we hardly realize what crucial effect they play on the environment! As more land is paved each day more rain water lands on the concrete pavements rather than percolating into the soil. The standard techniques of paving generally result in creating impervious surfaces which prohibits water from seeping into the soil. Experts have found increased use of impervious paving to be one of the key factors responsible for causing soil erosion, depletion of ground water level, flash floods and water pollution. According to a recent proposal a new fee will affect property owners of Lynchburg, Virginia. This will help to fund a “storm water program” depending on the extent of impervious pavements each of the family owns. Authorities have decided to adopt this measure after research showed that impervious pavements, by repelling storm water from soaking into the ground, resulted in creating runoffs which is responsible for water pollution in the nearby Chesapeake Bay. The solution to this problem is to adopt pervious concrete paving – an eco-friendly alternative that helps to maintain a cleaner surface while keeps pollution at bay.
One of the more straightforward ways to fight soil erosion and water pollution would be to stop using impervious paving completely. However, this is easier said than done as our roads, sidewalks, high ways, and parking lots are mostly covered with impervious paving, coated with asphalt or made up of impervious concrete. It is impossible to replace each of these with pervious concrete paving at one go! So isn’t there any solution to fight back? Well there is, and it involves a gradual adoption of pervious concrete paving for each of these constructions. For example we can start with the parking lots!
Traditional paving in parking lots includes concrete which is ‘impervious’ hence it repels drainage flow causing erosion of soil underneath. Using pervious concrete paving for parking lots helps to check erosion as well as eliminates runoff problems to a large extent. There are, however, certain temporary solutions available those using wood chips, gravel or even shredded and recycled rubber tires as core materials. But, these structures are hardly effective in case of excessive rainfall.