Rain-permeable driveway


What is this?

A rain-permeable driveway is one which allows rainwater and snowmelt to soak into the ground. Some materials direct water around paving materials and other materials allow water to soak right through. Examples of rain-permeable materials include: crushed gravel, porous pavers, stone/brick pavers, porous concrete and permeable asphalt.  Examples of driveway surfaces that are not considered rain-permeable are concrete and asphalt.

How do I do this?

On my own

Keep it on site - It would be adventageous if people were to keep more rainwater on their property and let it soak into the ground. Here are some ideas on how:

  1. Use rain-permeable materials when replacing or installing new walkways. 
  2. Design your property – when possible – with a reduced amount of asphalt, concrete or roof.
  3. As you research various materials, ask about winter issues – snow shovelling/plowing, frost heave and the impact of salt or other de-icing agents.
  4. Here are somelaces to see interesting surfaces to consider:
    • Ryerson Woods in Deerfield has a porous asphalt parking lot
    • The Morton Arboretum in Lisle features an interlocking paver parking lot.
    • The Prairie Crossing Charter School in Grayslake features a section of permeable recycled glass sidewalk.
    • The Village of Oak Park has installed a number of beautiful, low-maintenance brick streets.

Hire some help

See our local vendors for sources of rain-permeable walkways and driveways.


Why is this important?

If you have a rain-permeable driveway or walkway, you are helping to prevent stormwater from running off your property and flowing into our lakes and streams, which may help prevent local flooding and water pollution.

If you are replacing an existing driveway or walkway or installing a new one, consider a rain-permeable surface. In days gone by, most rainwater soaked into the ground but today that option is frequently cut off by buildings, parking lots, streets and even heavily compacted lawns. So the water gets channelled – quickly – into streets, sewers and pipes where it's whisked off to the nearest wetland, lake or stream. The streams can hold only so much before spilling their banks, which is part of why we sometimes see erosion and flooding here in Lake County.


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