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What is an impervious surface?
An impervious surface is one that does not allow water through to seep into the ground. Examples include concrete sidewalks and asphalt. There are alternatives to these items that are pervious. Some other examples of attractive alternatives to concreate are listed below:

- Wood or recycled material decks, usually installed for their functional good looks, can serve as a form of porous pavement. Decking allows rainwater to soak into the ground beneath it, and the space between the planks provides ample room for precipitation to drain directly onto the soil surface. As long as minimal air space is maintained between the soil surface and the decking, wood rot can be minimized.

- Using bricks, interlocking pavers or flat stones (flagstone, bluestone or granite), you can construct an attractive, durable walkway. If placed on well-drained soil or on a sand or gravel bed, these modular pavers allow rainwater infiltration. Avoid using chemicals to control weeds growing in the joints between the pavers; Corsican mint or moss can crowd out weeds and add beauty to the paved area.

- Pre-cast concrete lattice pavers also rest on a bed of sand and gravel and allow rain to soak slowly into the ground.
- Dutch drains, which are containers of gravel with holes used to infiltrate water from rooftops directly into the ground, carry water from rain spouts into the soil, where it gradually filters into the ground.

Stormwater Management

Show All Answers

1. Where does stormwater go?
2. Why has stormwater runoff become such a problem?
3. What is an impervious surface?
4. How can I reduce runoff?