Charlotte's urban sprawl has changed the way we need to approach the problems of water run-off. Do you want a new patio or driveway, but are limited by the amount of impervious square footage allowed on your property? Explore the permeable pavers solution with WBTV meteorologist Jim Lytle and Blue Max Materials' Mike Bishop.
Urban growth has drastically reduced the number of green spaces available to absorb rain water naturally. Instead, water runs off of rooftops, driveways and streets, absorbing dirt and pollutants along the way, and gushes into our over-burdened storm drains or creeks. In some areas, municipalities enforce restrictions on the amount of impervious surface area homeowners can have on their properties while other areas charge increased taxes for stormwater handling.
One solution to managing the stormwater issue, while still permitting the installation of driveways, patios or parking lots, is the use of permeable pavement systems. In these systems, pavers with wider-than-normal joints are installed over crushed aggregates allowing water to flow through the voids, thus preventing run-off. The pavers themselves are not permeable; it's the system, comprised of pavers made with large joint sizes as well as the type of base and filler stone used in installation that permits water to flow through the system.
Water goes straight down through the paver system instead of running off.
Subterra Stone is a permeable paving system designed especially for the residential market by Belgard Environmental. It's a great choice for homeowners who want the look of natural chiseled stone in their patio or driveway as well wanting to be a good steward of our environment.
Belgard's Subterra Stone permeable paver system used in patio at the 2008 HGTV Dream Home.
Subterra Stone driveway by Belgard Environmental.
As it passes through the system, the aggregates act as a filtering system ridding the water of the majority of pollutants. Now, the water not only doesn't run off into the creeks or stormwater drains, but as an added bonus, it is purified before entering the ground.
The water that passes through the permeable pavers can be handled in many different ways. In its simplest version, the water is allowed to pass through the system and be absorbed into the ground. Alternatively, it can be stored in a reservoir beneath the system and re-used for irrigation. It can also be channeled through pipes to another area of the yard or tied into a drain system. The possibilities are endless and are best explored with an Authorized Contractor experienced in installing permeable paver systems.
Commercial application of Subterra Stone for a restaurant patio.