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This Parking Lot Soaks Up Water

Permeable pavers lets water soak into ground underneath.

As more acres go under asphalt and concrete for parking lots adjacent to shopping centers, new schools and the like, the result is even more of a headache for drainage systems that are overtaxed in many Indiana communities. When it rains across a broad parking lot, the eater eventually must run off- it can't soak in and move naturally down through the soil.

That's unless it's a parking lot made with permeable pavers, new technology that allows water to soak beneath the parking lot, into a gravel bed below, and eventually on down into the soil. The company promoting this new idea calls it concrete pavement that 'drinks' water. Both Marion and Hamilton County soil and water conservation districts have been doing promotional efforts associated with helping folks to get a look at this new technology.

Even before now, permeable concrete vs. traditional concrete was on display at the Pathway to Water Quality exhibit at the Indianapolis State Fairgrounds. Working with concrete companies, the new pavement that can absorb water was installed on a demonstration basis at the site two years ago. It will again be open for viewing, side-by-side with regular concrete, with mock rain falling on both, during this year's Indiana State Fair, slated for Aug. 8-19.

The beauty of the concrete pavers, says John Smith of the Hamilton County soil and water conservation district, is that this system cleans water it reaches water supplies deep underground. Better infiltration should also translate into less flooding, and fewer or smaller detention ponds, he notes. Water retention and/or detention ponds are often considered unsightly and a nuisance when they're installed as part of a subdivision or large building project. Yet they're necessary today to collect the volume of water than can exit vast areas of pavement during a rainstorm.

If you're not convinced about this technology you can see a real, live example already in place in Noblesville, home of the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District. Permeable paver parking areas were recently installed at Dillon Park in Noblesville. It's located just north of 146th Street and Hazel Dell Drive, in Noblesville. These pavers were installed last October. In fact, the company behind the product, Advanced Pavement Technology, used this project as a training opportunity on how to install these paver systems.

Learn more at: Or inquire about the benefits and the performance of this particular project by calling the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District at: 317-773-1406.

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