Simply put, pervious translates to porous. So when an exterior surface, such as a street or sidewalk is made of pervious concrete as opposed to impervious, water can be absorbed into the surface like a sponge. Why should a surface be spongy, you ask? Well, think about it like this: When an area gets bombarded with heavy rains, pervious concrete can soak up the water and hold it until the sun comes out to evaporate the liquid. Pervious concrete is the perfect solution to rain or storm water runoff.
Unfortunately, though, pervious concrete is higher in cost than asphalt or concrete pavement, so not many cities are utilizing this concrete technology yet. However, the long-term and environmental benefits of pervious concrete are too great to ignore. For example, utilizing pervious concrete as a storm water management system eliminates the need to purchase land for retention ponds; therefore, land developers might be attracted to this concept. The environmental benefits of pervious concrete are great, too. When storm water sits on top of a non-porous surface, algae and pollutants are left to fester – this contaminated water can eventually run into larger bodies of water and become hazardous to aquatic life. Pervious concrete can absorb tainted water before it becomes a bigger problem.
So there you have it – concrete could save the world!