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Landscape Design for Stormwater Runoff With Asphalt Paving

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Inundations from increased rainfall and coastal storms are overwhelming building stormwater and city drainage systems. More urban areas are turning to green landscaping solutions to manage flooding and stormwater surges. Permeable asphalt, a green paving solution that reduces and controls stormwater runoff, reduces flooding and pollution.

This porous asphalt turns driveways, sidewalks, and parking lots into large urban drains. The multi-use paving material can be creatively integrated into any landscape design. 

Use Permeable Asphalt as a Water Sink 

Permeable asphalt is a porous asphalt that acts as a sink for precipitation and stormwater runoff. Instead of flowing over surfaces, water seeps through the porous structure. Below the asphalt, a stone reservoir allows water to slowly infiltrate into the soil. 

In the winter, studies have shown permeable asphalt reduces water accumulation on surfaces, and thus ice build-up on roads, by two effects: less precipitation stays on the surface and air trapped in the pavement heats the surface. By reducing ice, the use of salt to de-ice roads is reduced by 75–100 percent. 

Add Landscape Design Elements for Stormwater Control 

Some urban architects promote permeable asphalt paving as a catch-all solution for stormwater. Integrated with other landscape design elements, water flow, direction, and retention can be more precisely managed. By using the following stormwater landscape elements, you can help prevent the municipal stormwater system from being overwhelmed. 

Install drainage channels — Channels designed to drain water around an asphalt driveway or parking lot may include gutters or culverts. If your driveway is surrounded by hilly areas, culverts can prevent too much runoff from getting onto the driveway. To retain water, paving stones or berms can be used around a paved area. Consult with your paving contractor for the proper permits for installing culverts.

Develop berms and swales — Designing with berms (raised land) and swales (gutters/ditches) is a way to control the direction of the water runoff. If puddles accumulate on surfaces, for example, a berm can be used to direct the water to the asphalt pavement.

Plant species that hold rainwater — Some plants are known to do a better job of capturing water in their roots, stems, and so on. Plants return the water to the water cycle through evapotranspiration. The roots and natural mulch fortify soil and prevent erosion. With a view to encouraging the use of plants in stormwater control, many states and cities offer a free guide. Check with your local government resources for the best native plants to use on your property.  

Together with a permeable asphalt driveway, green landscaping solutions can improve water retention, filtration, and evapotranspiration on your property. Contact an asphalt paving company, such as Mariotti Site Development Co Inc, to learn more.