Things that make you go HMM…
In the wake of Harvey (and now Irma and Jose), flooding and the underlying issue of storm water management are at the front of everyone’s brains. As a society, we tend to react in a heightened emotional state about these matters, as they are usually only ideas that are pondered in the aftermath of a devastating event. We are continually poked and prodded by planners and engineers and consultants who on a daily basis hold these things near and dear to their hearts. But it is only in the face of disaster that these seemingly mundane topics spark the interest of the average citizen.
Water is typically seen as public enemy number one. As a nation and as a body of people, we fiercely try to combat its inconveniences and damages that it can wreak upon us. We create pitch to make water run away, we install drains so we can capture it, we build channels to put it in its place. Only until recently, have we started to dabble in measures that lend themselves to the more natural way of mitigating our age old enemy – to embrace it.
Permeable surfaces provide for a similar function that mother nature does, by allowing for the absorption of waterfall or watershed wherever it may fall. In a natural, undeveloped piece of land, water is allowed to permeate into the naturally impervious surface (grass, soils, sand, rock) and dissipate at its own pace, thus creating a holding ground for one of our most coveted and hated natural resources. Impervious surfaces of course provide the opposite effect. They impede this natural absorption and force the water into other unnatural areas. Permeable surfaces (such as pavers) effectively provide the same function as nature intended, allowing for the falling and running of water upon it and allowing it a place to go and call home (in pervious storage ground below the free draining surface) without being allowed to rear its ugly head and cause damage above ground. What if more of these surfaces existed? What if there was less blacktop and more free draining and collecting usable surfaces? Could we avoid the devastation caused by events such as Hurrican Harvey? Definitely not. Could we feel the effects more locally by a decrease in flooded basements and homes? Perhaps.
Responsible design and store water management is not among the sexiest of topics. However, with savvy implementation of its planning and utilizing aesthetically pleasing solutions such as permeable paver surfacing, we can each do a small part in resolving a big, bad issue.
Our thoughts are with all those affected by Hurricane Harvey and the now impending Irma and Jose. The CRS Team has made a donation to the American Red Cross to help those in need at this time and encourage you to help in any possible.
American Red Cross – Donate Now