Permeable Pavements

Permeable pavement is a porous surface that filters and allows a portion of the water running off of roadways or parking lots to infiltrate and recharge ground water sources. Public infrastructure such as sidewalks, bike paths, and parking facilities constructed or retrofitted with permeable pavements ease the strain on drainage systems by diverting a portion of surface runoff to ground water reserves. They are cost effective because they reduce a developmentā€™s dependence on swales (artificial dips or slopes in the surface designed to channel, filter and increase infiltration), retention ponds, and other stormwater management tools.

Frequently Used Pavement Types

  • Plastic:  A plastic honeycomb-shaped grid that allows grass or other vegetation to grow in between
  • Concrete: Composed of concrete blocks with seams in between for better drainage
  • Asphalt/concrete:  Composed of an asphalt and concrete surface with fine particles left out to make it more porous for better filtration

Permeable pavement options

                          (Source:  EPA, University of Connecticut)


  • Filters pollutants that may run off into drinking water sources
  • Replenishes ground water sources
  • Reduces flood risks
  • More aesthetically appealing than traditional concrete