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Could PurePave help reduce flooding?

It has taken an “army of volunteers” to help Ottawa and the surrounding community combat surging waterways this Spring.

At first, water levels were only predicted to equal those of the presumed once-in-100-years flood in 2017, however we have exceeded the worst seen in 2017 this year. This has prompted city officials to investigate how to mitigate the negative effects of climate change on existing and new infrastructure.

“With climate change we're going to see more of these extreme weather events more regularly. It means we have to think about adaptation and mitigation, and how to move forward together,” says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, while visiting an evacuation centre in the city of Gatineau, Quebec last April.

As a result, the City of Ottawa is working on a new blueprint for how the city will grow — which may entice builders, architects, and engineers to use eco-friendly materials that help soak up rainwater like permeable paving.

In 2019, NRC-IRAP funded PurePave Technologies' most recent research project for Pure-Grid; a more economical and extremely durable permeable surface for industrial and commercial use. "We're excited to showcase our findings," said Davis, "which could mean there's potential for Pure-Grid implementation as a flood reduction strategy in building more resilient infrastructure for our cities.

PurePave is being used in Toronto to transform residences and business into net-zero runoff properties.

PurePave Engineering Team

Compared to asphalt, concrete and interlock, permeable paving such as PurePave is much better for the environment, because it is a system that is natural. The Credit Valley Conservation, responsible for protecting, restoring and managing natural resources, published a case study in 2018 on the benefits of permeable paving.

The report concluded that Low Impact Development (LID) implementation has the potential to reduce flooding and has a substantial reduction in contaminant levels, “closely mimicking the natural hydrology and water balance”.

PurePave Technologies encourages the engineering community to move more swiftly in the design of infrastructure that accounts for climate change science. Below are four eco-friendly features on the use of PurePave:

  1. PurePave is a sustainable construction and LID solution. This surface eliminates stormwater runoff and on a large scale can eliminate stormwater runoff ponds for developers allowing them to build more homes.

  2. PurePave functions just like natural soil, allowing water to permeate through and return back to the water table which has a positive effect on surrounding vegetation and tree-root system.

  3. PurePave's grid support structure is made with 100% recycled plastic (made from grocery bags) and we use recycled tires in many applications as well.

  4. Zero VOC emissions make the construction of PurePave surfaces safe for the air

Along with its environmental benefits, PurePave is not subject to the heaving and cracking that comes along with regular paving. If you would like to learn more, send us an email at

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