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HOW TO REDUCE IMPERVIOUS SURFACES & FLOODING

philip-goodman 28 June 2024

Flooding can occur even after a small amount of rain, and the answer lies beneath our feet – impervious surfaces. Many urban areas have these surfaces, but there are ways to mitigate their impact. Understanding what impervious surfaces are and how they affect properties is crucial in tackling this issue.

WHAT ARE IMPERVIOUS SURFACES?

Impervious surfaces are materials that prevent water from seeping into the ground. Common examples include asphalt, concrete, and some types of compacted soil. These surfaces are prevalent in urban development but come with significant environmental and property management costs.  

 The Impact of Impervious Surfaces

Impervious surfaces alter the natural water flow. When water hits these surfaces, it cannot reabsorb into the earth, leading to increased runoff. This runoff can cause flooding, erosion, and pollution in nearby waterways, which over time, can have devastating effects on property and the local ecosystem.

 Drawbacks of Impervious Surfaces

  1. Increased Runoff: Impervious surfaces prevent water from soaking into the ground, leading to excessive runoff during heavy rains. This excess water can overwhelm drainage systems, causing urban flooding and disrupting ecosystems.
  2. Pollution: Runoff collects pollutants from impervious surfaces, such as oil and heavy metals, and carries them into rivers, lakes, and oceans. This pollution can harm aquatic life and contaminate water sources, making them unsafe for consumption and recreation.
  3. Urban Heat Island Effect: Impervious materials like asphalt and concrete absorb and retain more heat than natural landscapes. This leads to higher temperatures, increased energy consumption for cooling, and more air pollution.
  4. Water Quality: Runoff causes erosion, leading to sedimentation that negatively impacts water habitats. Increased pollutants in the water can also degrade water quality.
  5. Drainage Issues: Excess runoff from impervious surfaces strains local water systems. This can cause sewage treatment plants to overflow, as evidenced by the Gold Coast City Council’s incident in April 2024, where 350 million litres of raw sewage spilled into the Albert River over three months.

 

WHAT IS A PERMEABLE SURFACE?

A permeable surface allows water to pass through it, reducing runoff and recharging groundwater supplies. Pervious surfaces are essential in sustainable landscaping, helping mitigate the issues caused by impervious counterparts.

Example of Permeable Surfaces

Permeable pavers are a fantastic example of pervious surfaces. Designed to let water soak through, they reduce runoff and pollution. However, not all permeable pavers are created equal. TRUEGRID is a leading provider of commercial permeable pavers, fully engineered from recycled post-industrial HDPE. They are functional, strong, and can be filled with gravel or grass for an aesthetic, environmentally sustainable outcome.

STRATEGIES TO REDUCE IMPERVIOUS SURFACES

If you want to reduce impervious surfaces and the damages they create, think outside the box. Here are some effective strategies:

Commercial Permeable Pavers

Permeable pavers combine the functionality of traditional paving with environmentally sustainable features. They reduce runoff and promote groundwater recharge. TRUEGRID Commercial Permeable Pavers are a true alternative to concrete and asphalt. Made in Australia from 100% recycled post-industrial HDPE, they boast strength, flexibility, low maintenance, and do not break down into microplastics.

 Green Roofs

Transforming a roof into a green oasis by covering it in plants not only looks beautiful but also absorbs rainwater. This innovative approach helps with insulation, reduces water runoff, and combats the urban heat island effect.

Rain Gardens

Rain gardens collect runoff from roofs, driveways, and other surfaces. Planting them with native shrubs, perennials, and flowers creates a natural filter for runoff, enhancing property aesthetics and reducing the impact of impervious surfaces on the local environment.

Redirect Downwater Pipes

Instead of allowing downwater pipes to discharge water directly onto hard surfaces, redirect them towards gardens or into water tanks. This simple change can reduce runoff and water plants simultaneously.

Plant or Protect Trees

Trees are nature’s way of managing water. Their roots absorb and store large amounts of rainwater, reducing runoff and erosion. Plus, they offer shade and beauty. Planting more trees helps reduce impervious surfaces.

Use Mulch

Mulching garden beds retains moisture for plants and allows water to infiltrate the soil, reducing runoff from property and lessening the impact of impervious surfaces. This simple strategy can significantly benefit the local environment.  

REDUCE IMPERVIOUS SURFACES & POTENTIAL WATER DAMAGE WITH TRUEGRID COMMERCIAL PERMEABLE PAVERS

Reducing impervious surfaces is crucial for managing water sustainably and protecting properties and local water sources from damage and contamination. TRUEGRID Commercial Permeable Pavers provide a true alternative to concrete and asphalt, addressing environmental concerns as well as economic and aesthetic goals.

Benefits of TRUEGRID

  • Installation Efficiency: TRUEGRID Commercial Permeable Pavers can be installed quickly, minimizing labour and resource use.
  • Durability and Low Maintenance: Engineered for longevity, they can withstand heavy use and weight with minimal upkeep.
  • Sustainability: TRUEGRID Commercial products contribute to a healthier planet by facilitating natural water management and reducing urban heat.

We are dedicated to advancing sustainable practices, exploring new technologies, and finding ways to use TRUEGRID to make a real environmental difference.

For more information or to discuss a site-specific solution, please contact:

Philip Goodman

Director Phone: 1 300 796 018

Mobile: 0408 444 349

Email: pgoodman@truegridpaver.com.au

Website: www.truegridpaver.com.au

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