return to Downtown Bellingham map
Permeable pavers not only remove pollutants by allowing stormwater to soak into the ground, but they provide structure and textures to urban spaces and sidewalks.

Lightcatcher Museum Permeable Pavement

Where is this located? It’s the sidewalk along the Grand Avenue side of the Lightcatcher Museum.

What’s special about this place? Pavers like this make it possible for stormwater runoff to be managed onsite. The paver system allows water to pass through the cracks between the pavers. The concrete itself is not permeable and does not allow water to soak through it. A key piece to effective function is the layer of gravel installed directly below the pavers which allows infiltration to occur. Take a look at this brochure about Lightcatcher Building’s green infrastructure elements.

About Permeable Pavement

Permeable pavements include pervious concrete, porous asphalt, and spaced pavers, which are installed over special layers of sand, gravel, and soil. Pervious concrete and porous asphalt have small spaces that allow stormwater to soak through them, while interlocking pavers allow water to soak between the pavers. In addition to reducing runoff, permeable pavements help filter out pollutants. Because they are capturing and retaining pollutants, it is necessary to regularly clean the pavement or gaps between pavers to maintain their permeability.

Water quality benefit: Permeable pavement surfaces are effective in managing runoff from paved surfaces because they capture and absorb stormwater runoff at the source. When water soaks through permeable pavements, it prevents pooling of water on the surface. Permeable pavements are also effective at trapping pollutants as the runoff filters through the underlying layers of sand and gravel.

Use this button below to open map in Google Maps or skip map

Drains just .06 acres.

Where does this stormwater runoff come from? The stormwater at this site comes from rain that falls on the permeable pavers in the sidewalk on the Grand Avenue side of the Lightcatcher Museum.

Where does this stormwater runoff flow next? Most of the precipitation that falls on this sidewalk soaks into the ground below the pavers. If there is too much runoff, it is collected by a catch basin at the intersection of Grand and Central Avenues. From there it flows through pipes to Whatcom Creek. These pavers drain a mere .06 acres, but they don’t require any other system to be effective in the role to infiltrate stormwater runoff.