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A year later, another deluge tests water permeable parking lot in Annapolis

September 14, 2011

If it’s late August and early September and you are in Annapolis, Maryland, you’re probably getting wet. Last year at this time, Annapolis was hit by the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole and its 24-hour deluge of nine inches.  Watch the clip from last year’s post here.

Torrents fell on the parking lot of the Annapolis & The Chesapeake Bay Visitor’s Center, paved with StormPave clay brick permeable pavers and promptly disappeared.

The 10,000-square foot parking lot is designed to direct all the rainwater to six rain gardens and from there, to an overflow pipe. Despite the volume of water, the pipe measured barely a trickle. The rain naturally flowed in between the spaces between the pavers, to an underground system of aggregates, instead of washing across the surface, picking up pollutants and carrying them to the nearest storm sewer.

This year, Hurricane Irene came first, hitting the bricks with 5.54 inches of rainfall on August 28 and on September 5 and 8, an additional 8.11 inches fell as the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee hung overhead. Results were identical to the previous year.

Gott's Court.

Landscape architect Shelley Rentsch, RLA, ALA, principal of Annapolis Landscape Architects and the designer of the parking lot, known locally as Gott’s Court, said everything worked perfectly this year, the same way this year as it had last year.

The Pine Hall Brick unit pavers worked exactly as planned and absorbed a tremendous quantity of rainfall during the Hurricane Irene inundation with stormwater rapidly disappearing through the pavers into the subgrade systems. With so many areas experiencing flooding, one could only imagine a more widespread use of this phenomenal product.—Shelley Rentsch

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