A UK company has developed fast-draining concrete that can absorb up to 1,000 litres of water per minute per square metre.
According to the Smithsonian Magazine, Topmix Permeable is creating a lot of buzz online after its company, Tarmac, released a video of a truck pouring 4,000 litres of water onto a parking lot surface.
The video showed the concrete absorbing the water instantly.
“Road paving material is usually made of a mix of large and fine crushed stone held together by a binder. With Topmix Permeable, the fine crushed stone or sand is left out. This makes the resulting material porous enough to accept large amounts of water. A layer of Topmix Permeable concrete is installed on top of an aggregate sub-base of crushed stone, which generally sits on top of the soil. Rainwater drains through the top surface, collects in the aggregate layer, and is slowly released into the ground,” said the Smithsonian.
“We believe that the capacity is several times more than enough to deal with the heaviest rainfall we’ve ever experienced in the UK,” Richard Stares, commercial director at Tarmac, said. The product’s price is similar to other concretes in the UK market.
The product can be used on roads, parking lots, walking and biking pathways, driveways and more. Tarmac says the material could help reduce flood damage, take pressure off aging storm water drainage systems and even reduce risk of water shortages by redirecting rainwater into natural aquifers. In times of extremely heavy rain, the pavement acts as a reservoir, its under-layer holding on to water and releasing it slowly at a pace the ground can handle.
The system can also help filter contaminants, such as motor oil, out of water—the multiple layers of porous stone essentially act as a giant filter.
After Thursday’s rain, Karachi flooded and water remained in multiple areas for days. Many roads developed massive sinkholes due to both poor construction materials and stagnant water.