Water Sensitive SA

Permeable paving

  • Allow water to filter through the driveway, carpark or path surface into the local soil to increase soil moisture and sustain adjacent vegetation.
  • Decrease excess stormwater runoff.
  • Stormwater management solution when no underground drainage system exists.
  • Avoid downstream drainage system upgrades
  • Support maintenance of predevelopment runoff rates and/or more natural hydrological cycle.
  • Reduce stormwater ponding on surface of carpark, road or footpath.
  • Reduce need for stormwater pits and pipes (and associated cost) while providing improved pedestrian accessibility.
  • Provide protection for trees – water infiltration and soil aeration.
Design tips
TIP 1 – Geofabric between bedding course and base layer almost redundant

If ratio of diameter of bedding layer to base course layer aggregate is less than 1:10, then no geofabric is required between the layers.

Why? The materials are close enough in size, ensuring that migration of smaller bedding course material into the voids of base course does not occur.


TIP 2 - To avoid clogging of permeable pavers

Ratio of contributing impervious areas to permeable paving area – no greater than 4:1

Ratio of contributing impervious areas : permeable paving area | No greater than 4: 1. Image: Concrete Masonry Association of Australia

Image: Concrete Masonry Association of Australia


TIP 3 – Avoid recycled concrete basecourse

Why? The limestone leaches out of the material and clogs the system.


TIP 4 – Always install an edge restraint or a concrete kerb

Why? To prevent movement, ensure load is spread across.

Edge restraint – pavement transition to concrete or other surface. Source: Interlocking Concrete Paving Institute


TIP 5 – When design is close to a footing or structure

ensure no water enters the subgrade by:

  • ensuring a minimum 1% grade of pavement to draw the water away from the structure/wall
  • installing an impermeable liner that redirects water away from the footing.

Permeable interlocking concrete pavement (PICP) adjacent to building structure. Source: Interlocking Concrete Paving Institute (ICPI), 2021


TIP 6 – Use permeable paving to protect significant trees

even if the tree is on an adjacent property.

Acknowledgement of Country

Water Sensitive SA acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Nations of the lands and waters we live and work upon, and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and respect the deep spiritual connection and the relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to Country.