It’s easy not to think about what happens to rainwater after it hits the ground. Unless water makes a puddle in our path, it’s usually out of sight, out of mind. However, there are some ecological and economic reasons to pay more attention to rainwater. Taking small steps to treat rainwater, also called storm water, in our own yards can be good for the environment and, at least indirectly, save us some money.
One of the best ways to improve water quality is through the use of permeable pavers or porous pavement systems. Unilock is an interlocking unit paver manufacturer that produces easy-to-install permeable pavers. Here’s a look at why and how to use them.
What Happens to Rainwater?
When water lands on most paved surfaces, it runs off into the nearest drain or landscaped area, picking up dirt and pollutants on the way. Water that drains into storm sewer systems can accumulate very quickly and requires extensive networks of sewer pipes to transport it to detention basins, streams and rivers. Permeable pavements are designed to treat storm water as a resource rather than something to get rid of.
What Are Permeable Pavers?
Permeable unit paver systems are designed to let water soak into the ground below as opposed to draining across the surface onto adjacent property or into the storm sewer. Either through the use of spacers on the side of each paver or the shape of interlocking pavers, small spaces are created between the pavers. These are filled with a very fine aggregate or stone. Water then flows down between the pavers into the subbase and subsoil below.
Benefits of Permeable Pavers
As water passes through the aggregate or stone base below the pavers, its quality improves. The aggregate serves to filter the water and actually break down some pollutants. With more water in the subsoil, there is less need for watering and irrigation systems. Because water is entering the soil, less of it goes into the storm sewer system. This can reduce infrastructure costs and, ultimately, reduce flooding.
Unilock’s Eco-Priora pavers are the same size and shape as regular bricks. They come in several different colors and are suitable to use for walkways, patios and driveways. Eco-Optiloc pavers from Unilock are L-shaped in a way that leaves small voids between the pavers. They are appropriate for both commercial and residential use, but might be more suitable aesthetically for a driveway than a patio.
Choosing the right materials and products is an easy, but effective, way to be ecologically responsible. Unilock’s Eco pavers are an environmentally sound choice that look and perform as well as, if not better, than any other paver on the market.