The United States is experiencing significantly more “heavy precipitation events” than it did 50 years ago and it is expected to increase by 40 percent by the next century (1). The issue is cities are not adequately prepared to deal with excess water posing harm to nature and people. One excellent solution is Porous Asphalt.
Porous asphalt is a permeable base that cleans water. Normally city rain water pours into storm drains from the street, is treated, and then sent into oceans or rivers. In the case of excess downpours, however, treating the water must be bypassed to prevent flooding. This contaminates our local water ways and is dangerous for ecosystems and swimmers (2). This asphalt permits water to fall to its bed of rocks below, preventing litter from remaining in the water and quickly cleans it at the same time.
Porous asphalt directs water into soil. Excess concrete and asphalt in cities prevent water from soaking into dry soil. This causes massive flooding wrecking buildings and cars in traffic. This asphalt soaks up water dispersing it to the soil below or piping it to another soil destination (3). This is especially helpful for massive parking lots that collect lots of water.
Unfortunately, this technology can be expensive and time consuming to install. Previous asphalt must be removed and much of the land below it to install the underlying stone bed (4). Then the asphalt, which is newer and more expensive than traditional asphalt, must be paved down.
With excess rainfall coming porous asphalt offers an excellent solution. This technology prevents contamination and reduces flooding problems. It will be especially beneficial to install into cities like Detroit which just had a deluge in 2014 and is “due for major renovation” (5). Even though it may cost more now it will pay off in near future.