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Gravel-Lok®: A Permeable Pavement
Gravel-Lok® is a liquid that bonds stones together to form a rigid pavement. It is chemically designed to create a bond only where one stone touches another. For this reason, it does not need to occupy the void spaces in between the stones. This allows the pavement to be permeable/porous. Rainwater will pass through the pavement.
Gravel-Lok® also makes a great permanent alternative to mulch around shrubs and trees. We call this “stonescaping”. Many municipalities use it for tree pits.
After just 1” of rainfall, the runoff from a one acre parking lot could fill a backyard swimming pool with about 26,000 gallons of water.
Permeable or porous pavements have become extremely popular because more municipalities have realized that too many traditional concrete and asphalt pavements exist that are not permeable. Rainwater mixes with pesticides, fertilizers, automotive chemicals, bacteria, sediments, pet waste, etc. and runs off into storm drains. Eventually this polluted rainwater drains into streams and lakes. The pollutants have an adverse effect on plants and fish.
By choosing to install permeable pavements, citizens are better stewards of the waterways around their community. This approach also serves to reduce the overload on storm drains as water can be trapped in a permeable pavement and slowly released into the ground. This process also cools the water. Any residual water will be cooler and therefore reduce the stress and impact to waterways. Another benefit is that permeable pavements can reduce the need for retention ponds beside large pavements such as parking lots.
Currently, the options for permeable paving include permeable pavers, porous concrete or asphalt, and bonded gravel, such as Gravel-Lok®, a liquid that bonds stones together yet they remain permeable. All options have their advantages. Gravel-Lok® is especially appreciated for its natural beauty since natural pebbles are used.
How porous is a Gravel-Lok® pavement?
We hired a laboratory to conduct porosity testing. They compared porosity between non-bonded 3/8” pea gravel and bonded 3/8” pea gravel with Gravel-Lok®. They could not detect the difference in porosity between the two systems. Porosity was measured at a rate of 20 gallons per minute per square foot. When a garden hose is held to a Gravel-Lok® bonded pavement the water easily flows into the pavement without puddling.