Considering a new patio or sidewalk? Think outside the (concrete) box.

Considering a new patio or sidewalk? Think outside the (concrete) box.
Posted on 05/09/2022

Permeable surfaces are becoming increasingly popular, and it’s easy to see why. They allow you to create unique, eye-catching designs that fit naturally into the landscape.

But their good looks aren’t the main reason the City of Lenexa’s stormwater staff are advocates for permeable surfaces — they’re also an excellent way to protect water quality.

Whenever possible, rain should stay where it falls to prevent pollution and flooding in the watershed. Cracks between permeable pavers and the permeable material under them allow rainwater and melting snow to soak into the ground, preventing standing water and runoff.

If you use permeable pavers or flagstone to enhance your outdoor living space, you may also qualify for Lenexa’s Cost Share Program. The program reimburses residents up to $1,500 for their landscaping efforts that also help treat stormwater runoff.

Permeable pavers create a long-lasting, more formal product with a polished appearance. Their durability and smooth surface make them an excellent option for paths, patios and even driveways.

If you’re interested in doing a permeable paver project, you’ll need to prepare well in advance. Research paver manufacturers. If you’re using a contractor or landscaper, make sure the pavers and designs they use are truly permeable. Permeable pavers have notches on the sides that maintain a gap between each stone. You do not want to use the following materials:

  • AB-3, a popular type of gravel.
  • Polymeric sand or sand mixed with epoxy.
  • Pavers that aren’t specifically manufactured for permeable surfaces. This includes bricks and standard concrete pavers.

Permeable pavers diagramThe diagram above shows the general elements you should use for a permeable paver project. Be sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the specific product you’re using.

Once you and/or your contractor have a design, you can email your plans to our stormwater engineer. This is critical if you’re planning to apply for funding through the Cost Share Program.

Flagstone pathFlagstone paths — which are also eligible for the Cost Share Program — are an easy DIY project with an informal, organic look. You can use flagstones to create a simple path surrounded by pea gravel.

You can easily shape them to conform to your landscape and adjust or add to them as needed. Keep in mind that the materials will shift and need to be adjusted over time.

Learn more about the Cost Share Program


Published May 9, 2022