How Can Green Paving Improve Water Quality?

How Can Green Paving Improve Water Quality

Around the world, concern for water quality is at an all-time high. From municipal conservation programs to individuals curbing their water use, projects big and small are underway to safeguard the world’s clean water. But one overlooked opportunity to improve water quality may be right at your feet.

It would be nearly impossible to imagine the modern world without pavement. Huge swaths of land have been covered with pavement to make movement possible on streets and sidewalks. The benefits of this transformation don’t even need to be mentioned, but it can have some surprising effects on the water supply.

According to the Department of Planning and Local Government of South Australia, the impervious surfaces that make up most of the built environment can have a wide range of detrimental effects on the natural water cycle.

 

water supply

 

These problems include increased flooding, erosion, and water pollution, as well as reduced water for plants. That’s because impervious surfaces such as concrete prevent the flow of water into the soil. Rather than slowly making its way back into rivers and lakes, rainwater runs over these impervious surfaces collecting debris, then pouring back into streams, eroding their banks in the process.

The picture is much different for green paving materials. These surfaces allow water to seep down into the soil and re-enter the water cycle. The immediate benefit is more water available for nearby plant life. That’s something worth rooting for on its own, but the real advantages come further downstream.

Once water enters the ground, it begins a slow trickle back to rivers, lakes, and oceans. Rather than creating the dirty, eroding torrents that run off of hard surfaces, groundwater irrigates its surroundings and even gets cleaner as pollutants are filtered off into the soil.

 

river

 

Porous paving can help this process by removing some irritants before they even reach the soil, according to the Department of Planning.

Large-scale green paving projects are already underway in areas such as the City of Charles Strut and the City of Burnside. These projects could have a big impact on local water quality and flood protection, but even individual homeowners can help by considering their own green paving solutions.

To see how you can help improve water quality in your area, contact us today and learn more about porous paving.