Permeable pavement is built with materials that let water pass through. Replacement of traditional concrete or asphalt driveways with permeable pavement allows rainwater to naturally filter through the ground and reduces stormwater runoff. Permeable pavement provides a strong, solid surface that can be installed on driveways, walkways, and patios and can also serve as attractive landscaping features, raising property values.
There are three main forms of permeable pavement. In addition to these forms, listed below, there are grass pavement systems and gravel-based pavement systems. Others could be submitted for consideration on a case-by-case basis.
Why Should I Install Permeable Pavement?
Patios, sidewalks, and driveways are hard surfaces that prevent water from soaking into the ground. Various changes, or retrofits, can be applied to these hard surfaces to help prevent stormwater runoff and pollutants from entering our streams. An effective retrofit to reduce runoff from residential properties is the installation of permeable interlocking pavers.
Permeable pavements address important environmental issues and support sustainable living. They not only have a positive environmental impact, but can also be economical and function well with little maintenance.
Is Permeable Pavement Right for Me?
Permeable Pavement is pavement that will reduce runoff and still allow you to have a hard surface.
Installing permeable pavement on your property reduces the stormwater contribution to our streams from driveways, walkways, and patios. You will play a positive role in preserving the environment and water resources.
If you are interested in installing permeable pavement on your property (and receiving RainScapes Rewards Rebates), contact a certified contractor to make an assessment of your property. Permeable Pavement may not be suitable for your property and is not recommended as a do-it-yourself projects. A contractor will be able to properly assess your property and explain installation and maintenance issues. At this time, we do not generally provide rebates for permeable pavements except for the first two (PICP and PC).
How to Assess Your Property
Follow these basic steps to assess your property and determine the best location for a permeable interlocking paver project:
It is recommended that you work with a certified contractor to install your permeable pavement. To be eligible for a rebate, a PICP certified contractor must be used for installation. You can ask the RainScapes team for help in locating a certified contractor.
The RainScapes Permeable Pavement Guide (below) has suggestions and useful information on the best questions to ask your contractor and tips for installing the pavement, cost and maintenance.
The RainScapes program has knowledgeable and helpful staff who can help you through the process as well as the RainScapes Rewards Rebates program with great financial incentives for installing permeable pavement.
Maintaining Permeable Pavement
As the property owner, you are responsible for all maintenance of your permeable pavement unless a shared maintenance agreement has been made with the DEP Stormwater Facility Maintenance Program. The pavement requires regular maintenance in order to continue filtering rainwater, including:
DEP can answer your questions and provide additional guidance about maintaining your permeable pavement. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org call the Montgomery County Customer Service Center at 3-1-1.
Permeable Pavement in the Stormwater Facilities Maintenance Program
The Stormwater Facilities Maintenance Program is responsible for maintaining all public stormwater facilities as well as all private facilities that transferred their maintenance to the County.
Can I remove my permeable pavement after installation?
No, you cannot remove any facilities that were part of your building installation - these are permitted structures and DEP maintains a database of these facility locations as part of the Stormwater Facility Maintenance Program. DEP may perform a maintenance inspection of your practice if it is a permitted structure. Property owners must contact DEP before any major changes can be performed to the structure.
Rebates, Resources and Financial Incentives
Interested in installing permeable pavement? The County offers incentives to help make the decision a little easier.
The RainScapes Rewards Rebates Program
The County offers technical and financial assistance (in the form of rebates) to encourage property owners to implement RainScapes Rewards Rebates techniques on their property, including permeable pavement.
To receive a rebate for permeable pavement for residential properties, you must hire a certified contractor and convert a minimum of 100 square feet of hard surface to a permeable interlocking paver surface. To receive rebates for commercial, multi-family, and institutional properties, a minimum of 300 square feet of hard surface area must be converted to permeable interlocking pavers. The amount rebated will be based on the area of impervious area treated, on a square footage basis.
To participate in the RainScapes program, your property must be located in Montgomery County, outside of the municipal limits of the City of Rockville, City of Takoma Park, or City of Gaithersburg. Projects are not eligible if they are associated with permit approval requirements for new building construction, additions, or renovations.
The program is funded each fiscal year (The FY begins July 1 and ends June 30). Annual funds for the programs are limited, so rebates will be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis.
The RainScapes program also provides technical assistance to help with permeable pavement installation. They have a wealth of information, expertise and want to help!
The Water Quality Protection Charge Credit Program
After you have installed your permeable pavement, you are now eligible to receive a credit off your annual Water Quality Protection Charge (found on your yearly property tax bill). The credit provides an incentive for maintaining your permeable pavement and other stormwater management practices.
You must apply for the WQPC credit separately – the credit will not be provided to you automatically.
Residential property owners can receive up to 50% off their WQPC depending on the type and size of stormwater management practices on the property.
Non-residential and multi-family properties can receive up to 50-60% off their WQPC depending on the type and size of the stormwater management practices on the property.