Permeable Concrete Pavers
A major tool for on-site stormwater management

A relatively new way of dealing with on-site stormwater is with Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers (PICP). With the tremendous growth of impervious pavements for vehicular traffic, the effects on the environment has been significant. Eroding stream banks, polluted streams, lakes and rivers, and flooding has made this on-site stormwater management a design priority.

Conventional ways of collecting runoff is with the use of retention ponds and storm sewer systems.

Permeable concrete pavers have been used in North America since 1992 and in European countries since the late 1980's.

With the use of open-graded aggregates, permeable concrete pavers can effectively eliminate all surface runoff, in most cases, by allowing the water to infiltrate through the openings between the pavers into the aggregates below and eventually into the soil beneath.


Larger aggregate provides base reservoir while smaller sized aggregates support wheel loads. Traffic is supported by the high-strength concrete units, which are surrounded by stone-filled joints, which will receive and infiltrate the stormwater. Typically, permeable concrete pavers can handle rainfall at rates of 4 to 9 inches per hour.

PICP (Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers) can be installed in freezing weather conditions and has good freeze-thaw characteristics. These concrete pavers have a durable surface allowing for snow plow usage and deicing materials. Since this pavement is porous, melting snow can infiltrate it thereby reducing snowplowing activities and reduces the risk of ice patches. If damages do occur during snow removal, the pavers can be removed and reinstated since they are modular in nature.

Periodic and regular inspection and removal of accumulated sediment should be performed once or twice per year. This can be accomplished by sweeping and vacuuming the pavers.

Since the joints of the pavers are generally one-half an inch or less, they meet the requirements of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) for comfortable travel as well as being firm, stable and slip resistant.

On the greener side, permeable pavers can be made of light colors thereby increasing surface reflectivity and reducing temperatures. By allowing water and oxygen through to the roots of adjacent trees enables tree growth.

View a comparison of PICP's with other permeable pavements at Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute. 13921 Park Center Road, Suite 270, Herndon VA 20171
Phone: 703-657-6900 - Fax: 703-657-6901




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Richmond, Virginia - Revised: 12 Aug 2008