Recommended Methods for Storm Water Protection

What is an Impervious Surface?

An impervious surface is any surface that covers the soil and repels or prevents water from filtrating into the soil. The most commonly constructed impervious surfaces are rooftops, sidewalks, roads, highly compacted soil and parking lots.

Did you know?

  • Impervious surfaces cause untreated storm water and irrigation water to run directly into the storm drains that lead to the rivers.
  • Water that drains over impervious surfaces carry pollutants such as litter, pet waste, vehicle fluid, soil, fertilizers, and pesticides to rivers and streams.
  • One acres of parking lot produces 15 times more run off than one acres of meadow.
  • Permeable surfaces actually help improve water quality by filtering out sediment and other pollutants and helps replenish the water table.
  • The temperature of traditional pavement in the summer can reach over 120 degrees F.
  • Nationwide, pavement covers 50-70 percent of most urban areas.

What Can You Do?

General Practices:

  • Direct storm water from the driveways into vegetative strips.
  • Install detention basins in large areas to store water, filter out sediment, and recharge the ground water. 
  • Disconnect your down spouts, redirect water to green areas, or save water in a rain barrel.
  • Limit discharge by not over watering your landscape or “watering” sidewalks and patios.

Consider Alternative Surfaces

  • Permeable pavement or cement*
  • White Line Wall Stone
  • Widely spaced wood decking
  • Stamped concrete paving blocks
  • Interlocking pavers
  • Gravel, brick, river rock, lava rock, cobblestone, slate crushed brick.
  • Alternative underlayment and filler such as:
    • Rice stone
    • Course stone dust
    • Stone dust

These surfaces compared to traditional asphalt and concrete allow more water to filtrate in to the soil, recharges ground water, improves water quality and in some cases, eliminates the need for detention basins

*If you choose to install pervious surfaces over a large area, consider the soil conditions and type, infiltration rate, depth to bedrock, and water table. Contact Washington Terrace City Public Works Department for more information.

Something to Think About

Lawn areas are actually less efficient than landscaped areas of shrubs, trees, and ground covers in recharging the ground water.

The Benefits of Pervious Surfaces

Financial Benefits:

  • Reduces the volume of water that enters the storm drain system and decreases the amount of revenue needed to maintain these systems.
  • Decreases the cost and need for the development and installation of new systems.

Water Quality & Environmental Benefits:

  • Improves water quality in rivers, streams, and the water table.
  • Decreases the amount of chemical contaminants that pollute water habitats.
  • Reduces stream and river velocity which lessens the severity of channel down cutting erosion.
  • Reduces the amount of soil, sand, silt, and clay that enters the waterways and harms habitats.
  • Helps keep recreation areas safe from pollutants that can be dangerous to humans.

Spill Response

Dial 911


Washington Terrace Public Works Department
(801) 395-8289


Weber-Morgan Health Department
Daytime: (801) 399-7160
24-Hour: (801-399-7169)


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