We hear a lot about ‘saving water’ and we automatically think of rainwater tanks, but what about the run-off water from the roads and paved areas? It may seem a daunting task, but our efforts to ‘save’ this run-off water are just as important as saving rainwater. The use of permeable pavers should be made a standard building requirement when large areas are to be paved.
PERMEABLE PAVING – what is it?
Permeable paving is not a new concept, but it is not commonly known as an alternative to solid paving. Permeable pavers can be used in home driveways, parking lots at hospitals, shopping malls and in main roads.
Permeable Paving versus Conventional Paving:
= Recharges local aquifers (keeping the fresh water levels high)
= Reduces flooding (less water gushing into the drains)
= Reduces need for expensive storm water infrastructure
= Large surface area allows pollutants to be broken down naturally
= Contributes directly to a healthy river habitat.
= Removes water from site, carrying with it a toxic combination of minerals and sediments
= Promotes flooding
= Requires expensive storm water infrastructure
= Concentrates pollutants into waterways, where they cannot be completely broken down
= Contributes indirectly to the destruction of river habitat.
Why is filling our underground aquifers important? Well, it keeps our trees alive; if we use borehole water indiscriminately we place mature trees under direct threat of dying. In the long run full underground aquifers will allow the Council to extract water for use if we experience another drought.
If you are interested in learning more, the internet produces the names of a few reputable firms offering this type of paver in Cape Town.
If every Pinelands home owner practices mindfulness when deciding on home renovations, we can prevent our lovely green suburb from turning into a totally tarred, or ‘wall-to-wall’ paved barren suburb where no squirrel, bird or bee will want to live.