On the Saturday of Father’s Day Weekend, The Hope House and Gardens were open to Voices for Earth Justice friends and family for a picnic and permeable pavement demonstration. The educational program addressed information concerning water resources and management.
EcoGranite’s David and Maggie Popp organized and gave a presentation about their granite product, which included an example of the granite permeable pavement that they sell. All of the granite and binding in EcoGranite's products is made of recycled materials. This permeable pavement is a sustainable, green alternative to impermeable concrete paving. This allows stormwater to slowly filter through and return to the ground.
While water cycled through the filtration system demonstration, David Popp spoke on his area expertise: how water management systems function (particularly, Michigan water management). He covered the interconnectedness of water systems, specifics regarding permeable and impermeable surfaces in Detroit, and provided options regarding how to save money on stormwater billing through installing permeable surfaces.
The wastewater system in Detroit is a combined stormwater and sewer system. Therefore, the water that hits impermeable pavement—that could be infiltrated and returned to the groundwater system if it hit a permeable or porous pavement—flows into the drainage system and is treated as sewage. Popp also noted that sewage must only be treated because humans have added water to it.
The engaging presentation resulted in the audience having several questions. Many questions related to the cost of installing an EcoGranite surface. While Popp noted that it is quite expensive, there are resources from the City of Detroit that supplement non-profit, faith-based, and business owners who would like to choose this environmentally friendly paving. The City of Detroit is allocating $5 million dollars to install Green Water Infrastructure for non-residential property owners.
If you are a resident, there are a few small steps that you can take to conserve water if you are not able to afford installing impermeable pavement:
1. The Three Hour Test:
-Check your house for leaks by checking your water meter, turning off and stopping water usage for three hours, and checking your meter again. If you the number goes up, then you have a leak.
2. Don’t litter! :
-By picking up trash, you can keep it from flowing into our water systems and polluting them.
3. Cut your shower short:
-Shortening your shower short by a minute or two, you will save up to 150 gallons of water per month.