Cities across Canada are exploring the use of permeable pavement as a strategy for stormwater management. Options include permeable asphalt, concrete and pavers. However, grid systems seem to have the most diverse application and to be the most cost-effective.
Plastic grid systems work by providing a strong framework a few inches thick that prevents compaction. When placed above a gravel underlay and filled with stones, grass, or artificial turf, the plastic grid creates a permeable surface that can stand up to light vehicle traffic.
Grid systems are used widely in Europe and the applications for the product seem to be endless -- from shoreline stabilization to city streets. For parks and playgrounds, grid systems help to maintain the vitality of grass by protecting the root structure and helping to maintain level, dry fields.
Grid system units are easy to install and generally half the price of other permeable pavement. EcoRaster, a form of permeable grid system, has been featured in all of our RAIN Permeable Paving Community Workshops. It is made out of recycled plastic bags and has large void spaces that can be filled with a variety of materials, including pea gravel or grass.
Recently, we were excited to hear that the PanAm Games in Toronto will be using EcoRaster on the soccer pitch at the Monarch Park soccer field. According to EcoRaster Sales Representative Souhaila Sarkis, this grid system is being used as a soil stabilizer in areas that commonly get muddy, such as the sidelines and goal box. The permeability of the grid system paired with a drainage system will allow water to percolate down and drain off to the side of the field.
Infiltration at LA airport will reduce pollution, replenish aquifers.All over drought-stricken California, cities are realizing the need to treat rain as a resource. A $40 million project at LAX, one of the U.S.â€™s busiest airports, will use an underground infiltration system to return millions of gallons of rain to the groundwater, instead of letting it run off untreated into the ocean.
Stormwater goes viral. An article by Canadian LID expert Dr.Jennifer Drake was featured on the popular tech web site Gizmodo this past week. The article highlighted how technologies which imitate nature can help to restore natural hydrology, reducing pollution and flooding.
Community-based public-private partnerships. A new report from the USEPA discusses the feasibility, practicality, and benefits of using public-private partnerships (P3s) to assist jurisdictions in the finance, design, construction, and operations & maintenance of an urban stormwater retrofit program. Since many traditional stormwater management programs are not designed to accommodate decentralized green infrastructure, P3s provide a possible alternative model for implementation.
Elm Drive LID project performs beyond expectations. Credit Valley Conservation has released an extensive monitoring report on the Elm Drive green street in Mississauga, installed in 2011. The bioretention and permeable pavement installations on a mixed-use street capture all runoff from 90% of rain events (up to 25mm) and remove 85-95% of pollution, including total suspended solids, metal loadings, and nutrients.
Sustainable stadium. A St Paul, Minnesota 7000-seat baseball stadium is being called the greenest stadium in North America, due to a number of environmental measures, including harvesting stormwater for field irrigation and toilets, and filtering the remaining runoff through sand filters, tree trenches, and rain gardens.
Infrastructure forum. 26 May. Toronto, Ontario. Eco-fiscal challenges to building resilient communities. Presented by the Ontario Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure.
Grey to Green 2015. 1-2 June. Toronto, Ontario. Exploring the economics of urban agriculture and resilience. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.