Permeable paving is a range of sustainable materials and techniques for permeable pavements with a base and sub-base that allow the movement of storm-water through the surface. In addition to reducing runoff, this effectively traps suspended solids and filters pollutants from the water. Examples include roads, paths, lawns and lots that are subject to light vehicular traffic, such as car/parking lots, cycle-paths, service or emergency access lanes, road and airport shoulders, and residential sidewalks and driveways.
Although some porous paving materials appear nearly indistinguishable from nonporous materials, their environmental effects are qualitatively different. Whether pervious concrete, porous asphalt, paving stones or concrete or plastic-based pavers, all these pervious materials allow storm-water to percolate and infiltrate the surface areas, traditionally impervious to the soil below. The goal is to control storm water at the source, reduce runoff and improve water quality by filtering pollutants in the substrata layers.