We cannot live without water. Yet the design of our city streets, walkways, backyards and driveways see most of this precious resource literally go down the drain. As the water washes over the hard surfaces, it takes rubbish and pollutants along with it straight out into our oceans. Sea creatures are forced to deal with increased pollution levels.
Apart from the environmental impact, hard surfaces covered with water can be dangerous. Water sits on top and makes the surface slippery. This makes driving in the rain hazardous when a slurry of oil and water forms on the roads. Walking through public spaces and along walkways becomes precarious. In playgrounds and even our backyards, children can injure themselves on slippery surfaces.
Seeking Sustainable Solutions
There is growing awareness of the problems associated with hard, impervious surfaces and the benefits of replacing these with permeable alternatives. These allow the water to drain back into the soil where it is needed while also filtering pollutants out of the waterways. The easy removal of water from the surface makes the area safer and easier to traverse.
For some time now, grasses such as lawns have been used as a solution but they require ongoing maintenance. Materials such as gravel and stone work are also laid in the hope of assisting water management but do not offer a firm surface and prove impractical. Another alternative is to use pavers laid with gaps between them, however this means that grasses and weeds can still break through. Permeable Pavers are an excellent option in resolving the water wastage and keeping areas safe.