Environmental Impacts of Asphalt and other Paved, Impermeable Surfaces

Paved surfaces are considered as the most popular creation of humans as it covers large areas of land as these pavements are also known as impermeable surfaces. These impervious surfaces are asphalt or concrete which are used for making parking lots and roofs as it enables the water to run off them but not through them. There are different kinds of paved impermeable surfaces like asphalt, concrete and other surfaces that help in draining the water in a more sustainable way as it make use of rain gardens and soak ways for allowing the water so that it can soak into ground beneath. But there are a large number of environmental impacts of asphalt and other paved, impermeable surfaces as these may pose a host of problems.

permeable paver

An example of a permeable surface alternative…

There are many benefits of using permeable surfaces as it helps in reducing and managing flooding as well as other adverse impacts that are associated with the increased rainfall and runoff. But impermeable surfaces like pavements and roofs does not allow to cool and heat the landscapes as rooftops, concrete and asphalt as it can absorb the energy of the sun during day time and releases it during night. This can also lead to worsening of the heat disparity as it cans also double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as it is due to the heat island effect. Moreover impervious surfaces are also known to have adverse effect on the water since it can prevent the water from getting soaked into the earth naturally as it lead to biological contaminants into wildlife, waterways as it also poisoning fish. Moreover the water also carries pollutants as water rushes across landscapes which might affect the water quality adversely as it can eventually lead to high amount of phosphorous and inorganic nitrogen in the water.

Therefore it is very important to rectify the Environmental impacts of asphalt and other paved, impermeable surfaces which can be done through on site management of the storm water like rain gardens that is also known as bio retention areas that are the shallow depressions in landscapes. It helps in capturing the storm water so that it can allow to gradually percolate into soil which helps in filtering out the pollutants. Hence it offers an attractive way of reducing the impact of the storm water on the environment as it can also capture the rainwater from the downspouts so that it can be used later. Even though there are many benefits of asphalt and other paved surfaces, there are many environmental impacts that need to be handled for addressing the issues in the right manner. Moreover the use of permeable pavers (through companies like http://www.pavinglouisvilleky.com/) is considered as the best replacement of the impermeable surfaces for use in parking lots and roofing system so that it does not pose any kind of ill effects. These impervious surfaces are also known to impact the streams and rivers which make it even more important to consider permeable surfaces for a wide variety of uses on land surfaces.

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