As with all projects, a great concern of those working for a municipality is the resulting maintenance requirements. Maintenance for a traditional pavement normally consists of patching and sweeping. Maintenance operations for porous pavements are focused on keeping voids in the surface open. The pavement should never be overlaid—some communities install signs near the pavement to prevent placement of an overlay. Crews should never apply a sealant or gravel or sand to the surface; the surface must be protected from the erosion of fines from adjacent properties. All pervious pavements should be swept twice a year with an industrial vacuum.

Design characteristics of pervious pavement

Although the following guidelines can be used as a starting point in the preparation of a specification for pervious pavement, it is important to use an experienced professional to help finalize the standard.

  • Slope of ground cannot exceed 5%
  • Do not use in areas of potential contamination (gas stations)
  • Permeability of underlying soil must be tested and found acceptable
  • Water table must be a minimum of 3 feet below the base
  • Bedrock must be a minimum of 2 feet below the base
  • Base cannot be placed on any fill material other than stone.
  • Subgrade must be uncompacted and level
  • Top of the subgrade must be below the frost line.
  • The subgrade and sides of the road bed must be covered by a nonwoven geotextile fabric
  • A public draft of Pennsylvania Stormwater Management Manual lists Mirafi 140N, Amoco 4547, and Geotex 451 as acceptable types.
  • Volume is dependent on runoff volume required and can be handled in hydraulic routing calculations as a detention basin. A rule of thumb is 5 acres of impervious area requires 1 acre of infiltration bed
  • Ensure a void space of 40%
  • Suggested stone is a uniformly graded 1½ to 2½ inch clean, washed No. 3 stone as defined by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
  • Strength and durability must be assessed
  • Typically constructed 12- to 36-inch in depth.
  • Perforated pipe constructed of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), high density polyethylene (HOPE), or corrugated steel.
  • Construct between surface and base to provide a level paving plane
  • Typically 1 inch thick and comprised of a No. 57 AASHTO stone.
  • Typically 2 to 3 inches in depth
  • Constructed of an OGFC with 5.75% to 6% bituminous asphalt by weight
  • Rolled once or twice with vibratory roller
  • No traffic allowed on newly placed surface for 48 hours.
  • Mix with no sand and a No. 89 washed stone with a high percentage of cement
  • Typically has 20% to 25% voids
  • Built to allow a water infiltration rate of 20 inches per hour
  • 6 inches or more in depth
  • Placed with a vibratory screed and rolled with a steel pipe roller
  • Covered with plastic and cured for a minimum of seven days.
  • Interlocking units, joints filled with pervious material
  • A public draft of the Pennsylvania Stormwater Management Manual lists Turfstone, UNI Eco-stone, Checkerblock, and GravelPave as acceptable types.
  • Image

    The texture of pervious concrete pavement, similar to that of a Rice Krispies treat, allows water to flow through the concrete and into the underlying base. Photo: Portland Cement Association


    Top: This middle school in West Philadelphia includes a pervious asphalt playground placed in 2002. Photo: Cahill Associates. Bottom: The city of Wilton Manors, Fla., used UNI Eco-Stone pavers to construct more than 30,000 square feet of a parking lot. David Archacki, director of public services for the city said, “We use them in all parking and driveway areas where drainage calculations are hard to meet.” Photo: UNI-GROUP U.S.A.