Porous pavement is a specific type of roadway surface that allows water to pass through and infiltrate into the ground below which reduces runoff and the associated polluting of waterways while recharging groundwater aquifers underneath paved areas.


Porous pavement dramatically reduces the impact of one of the largest barriers to water infiltration in the urban setting.  The pavement looks and acts just like normal pavement.  Pavers appear to have a functional life beyond that of traditional pavement.


Porous pavement may not effectively stand up to the wear and tear that normal pavement can such as heavy vehicle traffic, high speed traffic, and winter salting and plowing.  Road construction with pavers can cost 2 to 3 times as much as traditional roadways.  



Example 1: Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Water Department: Porous Paving

Description: A webpage from the department explaining the what, why, and hows of porous pavement with links to external references.


Example 2: EPA

EPA Porous Asphalt Fact Sheet

Description: A webpage from the EPA's Stormwater Menu of Best Management Practices that addresses applicability, design, maintenance, and effectiveness.


Example 3: Chicago, IL

City of Chicago: Permeable Paving

Description: Chicago's guide on how to use permeable paving.  Focuses more on pavers than porous asphalt.