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Pervious Pavement


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Pervious pavement (a term that includes pervious concrete, porous asphalt, permeable paver blocks and reinforced turf) is an infiltration BMP that combines stormwater infiltration, storage, and structural pavement consisting of a permeable surface underlain by a storage or infiltration reservoir. Pervious pavement is well suited for parking lots, walking paths, sidewalks, driveways, low speed-low volume lanes, plazas, and low vehicle weight streets.

Properly installed and maintained pervious pavement has a significant life-span, and existing systems that are more than twenty years in age continue to function. Because water drains through the surface course and into the subsurface bed, freeze-thaw cycles do not tend to adversely affect pervious pavement.

Pervious pavement is most susceptible to failure difficulties during construction, and therefore it is important that the construction be undertaken in such as way as to prevent:

  • Compaction of underlying soil
  • Contamination of stone subbase with sediment and fines
  • Tracking of sediment onto pavement
  • Drainage of sediment laden waters onto pervious surface or into constructed bed

Pervious Pavement Diagram

Porous Asphalt

Porous asphalt is considered the cheapest and easiest of the pervious paving options. It is also the easiest to fix when damaged, but is the most susceptible to being damaged, especially in a Northeastern climate. Porous Asphalt does require maintenance, as the pores will become clogged over time and need to be vacuumed clean. Like all of the pervious surface options, this requires a permeable subsurface and soil testing should be conducted beforehand to ensure operational success.

Porous Asphalt - St. Albans

Permeable Pavers (Paver Blocks)

Permeable Pavers are best suited for sidewalks and other pathways. While pavers are a durable option, they require careful installation to avoid being popped or damaged. Pavers also require maintenance, but do not require the use of a special vacuum like other options.


Permeable Pavers
Pavers 2
(Photo by Sutherland Landscape Center - Chico, CA)
(Photo by Medway Block Co., Inc.- Medway, MA)



Pervious Concrete

Pervious Concrete is the most expensive of the pervious paving options. Because it must be mixed in a very precise way to ensure a strong batch, one will need special training to mix it.

Pervious Conrete Side View
Pervious Concrete 2



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