Rainwater flows through porous pavement, allowing it to quickly reach soil, which helps keep pavement clearer from ice and snow in the winter and reduces the amount of pollutants that rain washes off of streets and into bodies of surface water.
“It works about 50 percent of the time,” says David Drullinger, an environmental quality professional with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. He explains that dirt, sand and other debris get stuck inside the pavement; for it to be effective again, it must be cleaned. More machines capable of unclogging these road surfaces are needed before widespread installation is viable. As more contractors gain experience working with the new material, the more effective it may become. Several communities in Michigan already are adopting the use of porous pavement for its benefits.