Why ECO: Stormwater/Harvesting/BMP

Stormwater Best Management Practice
Professional_Why ECO_Stormwater The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines Stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP) as a "technique, measure or structural control that is used for a given set of conditions to manage the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater runoff in the most cost-effective manner."

No single stormwater BMP can address all drainage problems. Each one has limitations based on drainage area served, available land, cost, pollutant removal efficiency, and site-specific factors such as soil types, slopes, depth of groundwater table, etc. All of these factors must be taken into consideration before selecting a stormwater best management practice methodology or group of BMPs for a particular location.

The goal of all Stormwater Best Management practices is to reduce or eliminate the contaminants collected by stormwater from being transported into lakes, rivers, and estuaries so that water quality can be maintained, ultimately protecting both the environment and the public from potential damages caused by exposure to pollutants.

EP Henry ECO™ Permeable Pavers meet the requirements of ASTM C 936, and their use is designated as a structural Best Management Practice for stormwater infiltration. The USEPA identifies concrete grid pavements consisting of concrete blocks with regularly inter-dispersed void areas that are filled with permeable materials, such as gravel, sand, or grass, to be a BMP.

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 wash, etc. It may seem like new technology to many, but rainwater harvesting has been used for decades in countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, and India. 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 uncontrolled development in metropolitan areas. Existing stormwater management systems are no longer able to support this kind of excess runoff volume. This has resulted in increased pressure on watersheds from pollutants, as well as more frequent incidences of urban flooding.

One of the main concerns of the rainwater harvesting is the quality of the water collected. Ideally, the quality of the water harvested should be in reasonable quality 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 entering the tank. Roof top harvesting has one limitation, which is gutter size - one can't install gutters nearly big enough to collect the maximum amount of water possible.

The solution? An underground storage basin beneath EP Henry's ECO Permeable Pavers which allow water to infiltrate and be stored for reuse. The EP Henry permeable paving system can serve as the initial filtering point for the rainwater. This is achieved through the various layers of aggregate under the permeable paver. The rainwater first enters through the permeable paver, then passes through the gravel layer, which acts as main 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. The stored water can then be pumped back as non-potable water for later use for irrigation and landscaping purposes, to feed a decorative water feature and more.