Universal Site Services | Commercial Site Services

EPA Experimental Parking Lot Surfaces

In the modern age, we are always looking for ways to be more environmentally conscious. At Universal Site Services, we accomplish this through the use of our energy-efficient sweepers, which help prevent toxins from getting into our water supply or air supply (with the obvious benefit of keeping your parking lot squeaky clean). But the EPA is also doing some research to determine if your parking lot surface can actually help the environment, too.

The EPA is testing out three different pavement surfaces:

  1. Porous Asphalt

This material allows water to drain through the asphalt rather than away from it. A key element of this system is the stone bed underneath, which is where stormwater eventually collects after traveling through the asphalt surface. These kinds of surfaces have been around since the 1970s, and they tend to remain porous and require very little upkeep.

2. Pervious Concrete

Pervious concrete operates on a similar concept. This type of concrete is made up of larger aggregates that allow water to penetrate and pass through more easily. This has been a viable way to treat stormwater and lessen pollution.

3. Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers

Permeable interlocking concrete pavers allow water to pass through the joints in the pavers and into an aggregate subgrade in order to filter pollutants from rainwater before it flows back into the environment. Many cities around the U.S. are trying permeable pavers for their walkways, as they are more decorative than the other two materials listed above.

How Can Parking Lot Surfaces Help the Environment?

The main goal of the EPA’s research on parking lot surfaces is to see how we can lessen the negative effects of stormwater runoff. Because traditional asphalt and concrete are not permeable, water from rainfall has nowhere to go but down our drains and out to the nearest body of water. But it’s not just water that goes down the storm drains – chemicals, garbage, oils, and other debris go down with the water, too. If the EPA can find a more absorbent surface for parking lots, water can instead be absorbed back into the ground instead of contaminating our waterways.  It’s always a good idea to keep your parking lots clean for your customers.  Call Universal Site Services for parking lot cleaning in Oakland, parking lot sweeping in Fairfield, and parking lot sweeping in Reno.