Paving to Prevent Water Loss

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Water conservation on your property can be a top priority, particularly in areas with a low water table or that are prone to drought. Improper paving can be a major cause of water loss on properties both large and small. The following guide can help you make paving decisions that will counteract water loss.

How Paving Affects Water Loss

Traditional paving, such as solid asphalt and concrete, prevents rainwater, snowmelt, and dew from soaking into the soil where it can recharge the water table below your property. Instead, the water runs off into storm drain systems that route it far from your property or, more likely, the vast majority of the water is lost to evaporation. Further, the sun tends to heat up dark-coloured paving, a process that can speed the evaporative process and lead to additional water loss from soils that border the paved area.

Drive and Parking Paving

Permeable paving methods can help prevent water loss on driveways, private access roads, and parking areas. Pavers with non-mortar joints, such as joints made of sand, soil, or another permeable material, can provide a firm, level surface while allowing water to drain between the pavers. These paving systems depend on a sturdy base of gravel and sand to ensure the water drains deeply into the ground surface and that the paver surface remains level and sturdy.

Walkway and Patio Paving

Most walkways, patios, and outdoor work areas see only foot traffic or light vehicle traffic, so there are more options for permeable paving. Grid pavers are made of concrete. These pavers have an opening between or within the pavers where grass or another ground cover can be grown. The pavers provide a framework that keeps the ground level and prevents the soil and grass from becoming compacted, which then allows for maximum permeability with little damage to the walkway or patio.

Drainage Options

The use of non-permeable paving may be unavoidable in some areas, but good drainage around solid paving can help reduce water loss. One option is to border solid pavement with a permeable paved border. This works best if the paved area is designed to slope towards these borders. The permeable paving will then protect the edge areas while still ensuring water soaks back into the soil. If bordering isn't possible, then consider having additional drains installed in the solid paved areas to route water underground before it can evaporate.

Contact a company that specializes in permeable pavers for more assistance.

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