Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hard-stand surfaces

Did you know that flooding and decreased soil quality and health is significantly affected by the amount of roads and hard-stand surfaces (footpaths and other impermeable man-made surface structures)? These structures do not allow rainfall or overland flow to penetrate into the soil structure, as would otherwise occur in an natural environment. Due to the lack of infiltration into the soil the water then flows faster and in greater volume into drainage channels, creeks, rivers and bays thereby creating flooding issues in quicker time frames and with more devastating effects.

If the water is otherwise allowed to naturally penetrate the subsoil would be healthy and retain any water for longer periods of time before flooding the downstream catchment.

In Portland in the US, there is a community group that is actively "ripping" up areas of pavement and hard-stand areas in locations that no longer require this type of cover but due to lack of interest and finances would otherwise remain as hardstand. The group is called DePave and through volunteer participation it transfers these areas back into community greenspaces. What a great idea!

I wonder how much space in your local community could be returned to its natural landform or cover and in turn bring more greenspace back to your suburb and return some life to the soil below. Pin It

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