Why ECO: Rainwater Harvesting

Permeable Pavers: the Gateway to Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is a method where the precipitation that falls upon roofs and hard surface areas is collected and stored for non-potable uses such as gardening, waste removal, car washing, etc. It may seem like new technology to many, but rainwater harvesting has been used for centuries in countries like Crete, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, and the Bahamas. Only recently, with the coinciding rise in environmental awareness and sustainability practices, has the practice gained popularity in the United States and other developed countries.  In the last 30 years, there has been a substantial increase in amount of surface runoff of rainwater due to large-scale development in metropolitan areas. Existing stormwater management systems are no longer able to support this volume of excess runoff. This has resulted in increased pressure on watersheds from soil erosion, water born pollutants, as well as more frequent incidences of flooding.

One of the main concerns regarding rainwater harvesting is the quality of the water collected. Ideally, the quality of the water harvested should be in reasonable condition, and free from solid contents such as sand, silt, debris, and other similar material. When water is collected from roof tops, normally a filter will be installed at discharge point before the water enters the storage tank in order to remove unwanted elements from the water entering the tank.

The solution?  An EP Henry ECO™ interlocking permeable concrete paver system.  It is not only capable of collecting water that falls on the ground surface, but also the water from roofs. ECO permeable pavers can serve as the initial filtering point for rainwater. This is achieved through the various layers of aggregate under the permeable paver system. The rainwater first enters through the ECO Permeable Paver system, then it passes through a layer of stone which acts as a primary filter.  Next, the water passes through a layer of geotextile membrane located just before the storage tank. The geotextile membrane performs the final filtration before letting the water enter the tank.

Using a pumping system, the stored water can be used for non-potable water purposes, such as landscaping and, in some states, toilet flushing. Another way to collect the water is to install a schedule 40 PVC pipe in the stone base of the ECO permeable paver system with holes in which the runoff enters and is diverted to a storage tank. EP Henry would be glad to discuss the various options with you and recommend a contractor who is qualified to perform this type of installation.

Storage reservoirs are made of matrix blocks that resemble plastic milk crates.  The storage capacity is limited to the size of the pit that can be dug to accommodate the matrix blocks and 50 ml. rubber membrane.

Invest in sustainability. Contact EP Henry for qualified contractors who are experience with permeable pavers in your area.

Homeowner_Why Eco_stormwater harvesting