New to Try: Pervious Concrete (When it Rains, it Drains!)

How often have we seen it here on Maui? After a heavy rain, parking lots and streets turn into shallow lakes and streams. Your guests have to tip toe through muddy water, or jump over oily puddles to get from their cars to the hotel lobby. What if there was a pavement or concrete that could allow rainwater to pass right through it, sinking safely into the ground, eliminating the need for expensive storm drains or gutters, and keeping polluted runoff from entering the ocean? Thankfully there is—pervious concrete!

Pervious concrete is a special mixture of gravel, cement, water, and a little bit of sand. Once it dries it creates a durable pavement that has an open-cell, or pervious, structure, permitting water to trickle through. Pervious concrete can be used in most of the same applications as regular concrete, is ADA compliant, and costs roughly the same amount to install and maintain, though it does require a trained pervious concrete technician.

Pervious concrete has been successfully used for:

  • Parking lots
  • Golf cart paths
  • Retaining walls
  • Driveways
  • Sidewalks

If you have ever visited the USS Arizona Memorial on Oahu, you probably weren’t there to examine the pavement, but the parking lot which sees over one million visitors a year utilizes pervious concrete for its parking stalls. For those wishing to check out an example here on Maui, swing by the new Bank of Hawai’i at 140 Hoohana St in Kahului (across from the Safeway) where pervious concrete was recently installed in the parking lot.

While there are a number of pervious options for hardscaped areas like paving blocks, stepping stones, and grass paving cells, pervious pavement could be a good option if you want the look and feel of regular concrete, but with the advantage of stormwater infiltration. Remember, the more you can use pervious options for hardscaped areas within your property, the less polluted stormwater runoff you’ll have to deal with and the less of this pollution will enter the ocean.

For more information about pervious concrete uses, or to find a contractor for your project, see or contact Wayne Kawano of the Cement and Concrete Products Industry of Hawaii at 808-848-7100 or

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