Terraform Earth

Porous Pavement that filters Pollutants!

Our urban environment has causes our creeks to be un-drinkable, un-swimable, un-fishable. For example, each time we brake our car, little tiny particles of copper scrape off and fall onto the pavement. Multiply that by # of cars on the road with the # of times each car brakes per day and the number of days people drive. .. this, along with all the other shit we spill, drop, and emit flows directly into our creeks because it would cost too much money to filter in addition to our huge sewage treatment facilities and it would run the risk of overflowing poopoo-water into the bay during a heavy storm.

Some good folks in Australia and New Zealand came up with a good solution; permeable pavement that filters pollutants! This way, the soil underneath the pavement would absorb the water as opposed to washing it all down the storm drain directly into our rivers. Also, it would water the plants in the area and replenish our much needed groundwater supply.

This product is called Permapave.

Permapave Stormwater Filtration Grates allows water to flow through at 30 liters (7.9 gallons) per second, preventing “Gross Pollutants” such as plastic bags, gum, McDonalds wrappers, bottle caps, etc. from entering our natural water system. If combined with a Permapave curbside or bioretention system, it filters up to

60% of phosphorous,

70% Heavy Metals, and

98% Hydrocarbon from stormwater,

And like any filter, it needs to be replaced or cleaned. In this case, they sell a powerful, portable vacuum that sucks up 100% of the contaminants in one swipe.

Here are some designs for how it can be used in our streets.

For more info and products, check out the Permapave website

.:found at Transmaterial:.

so far I’ve seen many permeable concrete products, but this is the first I’ve seen that filters pollutants before contaminating the soil and our groundwater supply. If you find any more, let me know!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * Deen says:

    These are now being manufactured in the US, on the west coast. See them at http://www.permapavenw.com

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 4 months ago
    • * terraformearth says:

      I first heard about this on a Living On Earth radio show on NPR in ’05. The story was about a Mexican company, Ecocreto.
      Could go a long way towards reducing stormwater pollution & droughts. One news story said the paved area in this country could cover the state of New Jersey. Imagine how much less flooding we would see if 10% of that were porous. – Dan

      | Reply Posted 9 years, 2 months ago

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: