Knoxville looks at pervious cement to curb flooding

6:30 PM, May 10, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
On Friday afternoon, a demonstration took place at Knoxville-Oak Ridge Area Central Labor Council to show the effectiveness of pervious concrete.

The City of Knoxville is looking at a new approach to curb flooding.

On Friday afternoon, a demonstration took place at Knoxville-Oak Ridge Area Central Labor Council to show the effectiveness of pervious concrete.

A new parking lot was recently installed, including a slab of pervious concrete.

1,200 gallons of water poured onto the parking lot, with very little run-off.

Pervious concrete is a mix of cement, coarse aggregate, water and admixtures that allows water and air to pass through it.

Instead of storm run-off, the water seeps into the ground and reduces the need for separate storm water retention ponds.

The cost is slightly more expensive than traditional concrete but can save the city money on storm water expenses.

"This particular project allows for the absorption of 500 inches of rain in an hour. So if you have the capability to absorb all that water, then you have less water running downstream to low areas and consequently less flooding," said Knoxville Senior Director of Public Works Christi Branscom.

Knoxville has already made steps toward using more pervious concrete.

"Parking lots up until recently had to have a sealed surface and that goes back from some requirement many years ago. We changed that to say required parking surfaces do not have to be sealed and that's kind of a step towards allowing perviousness," said Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero.

Branscom said a possible first move would be using the concrete on some sidewalks in the city.

"It's purpose is to deter the storm water from making it to the low-lying areas so it needs to be engineered into those areas that contribute to the rain runoff," said Jeff Whitehead, business manager for Cement Masons Local 78.

Whitehead said it also serves as a filter, catching heavy metals that could otherwise run into the river.

Friday's demonstration was sponsored by the Operative Plasterers' and Cement Masons International Association Local 78.

Most Watched Videos