For more than seven years, Wisconsin-based PaveDrain LLC has been manufacturing and installing a permeable paving technology in a variety of non-transportation critical areas, including parking lots, alleyways, sidewalks, emergency access roads, residential driveways, low-speed roadways and intersections, in cities and communities across North America.
The system combines functionality with a structural concrete concept used for centuries to create a permeable paving solution. A patented arch design in the middle of an articulating concrete block creates an internal storage chamber used as a reservoir for storm water runoff, while simultaneously providing strength for heavy vehicular loads.
Founded in Milwaukee in 2008 by President and CEO Doug Buch, PaveDrain has manufactured the system in 25 different block manufacturing facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada, with additional franchises sold in China. Since the company’s first installation in 2010, PaveDrain and its distribution partners have installed 7 million sq ft of this permeable paving product.
“The PaveDrain system will never be installed on a mainline highway interstate, but when you start looking at parking areas around the United States, that footprint is equal to or greater than the paved surface areas of our highways and interstate systems,” Buch said. “There’s that much surface area out there.”
As a value-added service to provide customers with a baseline of information on maintenance and cleaning the system, the company and its distribution partners typically manage the first few years of system maintenance on each installation.
According to Buch, there is no set rule of thumb when it comes to a cleaning or maintenance schedule for the system.
“Our system does away with the need to fill joints with rocks for aggregate interlock. When the joints get filled up with silt, debris, trash or organic materials, the clogged joints are visible to the naked eye,” he said. “If more than 50% of the surface area is clogged, it’s time to be cleaned.”
When it is time to clean a system, Buch and his team—including the company’s distribution partners—recommend using either an Elgin Whirlwind or Megawind vacuum sweeper.
“When you hit a clogged PaveDrain system with an Elgin Whirlwind or Megawind sweeper, you can bring the surface back to brand-new condition, no matter how clogged the joints might be,” Buch said. “Elgin vacuum sweepers provide a safe, efficient way to clean and maintain the system.”
Buch said the company has been using these vacuum sweepers to clean and maintain its installations since 2014. While working with the city of Indianapolis on a project in late 2014, a maintenance worker for the city recommended the use of these vacuum sweepers.
“We tried an Elgin Whirlwind vacuum sweeper on a very dirty strip of PaveDrain surface in Indianapolis, and it cleaned the surface to almost brand-new condition,” Buch said. “That sent us on a whole new path for cleaning and maintaining PaveDrain installations. Since then, we have been promoting the use of Elgin Sweeper’s vacuum sweepers to maintain and clean our systems to municipalities everywhere we go. So far, it’s worked out very well for us and for our municipal customers.”