Porous Paving

Porous pavement is a specially designed pavement system that allows water to infiltrate through the pavement and never become runoff. This system provides the structural support of conventional pavement but is made up of a porous surface and an underground stone reservoir. The stone reservoir provides temporary storage before the water infiltrates the soil. There are many different types of porous surfaces, including pervious asphalt, pervious concrete, and interlocking pavers. Interlocking pavers function slightly differently than pervious concrete and asphalt. Rather than allowing the water to penetrate through the paving, pavers are spaced apart with gravel or grass in between to allow for infiltration.

Porous Paving on Percy Street

Philadelphia's first porous green street on the 800 block of Percy Street replaced traditional impervious asphalt and reduces the amount of stormwater entering city sewers. Located in South Philadelphia's Bella Vista neighborhood, the porous pavement allows stormwater runoff to infiltrate the surface, storing the water in a stone bed until it can be absorbed by the soil. This project was a collaboration between the Philadelphia Water Department and the Philadelphia Streets Department.



800 block of Percy St., Philadelphia, PA

Bella Vista

Lead Agency

Philadelphia Water Department


Philadelphia Streets Department
Philadelphia Capital Program Office