The building material company Tarmac has developed a new kind of concrete that is capable of absorbing up to 4,000 liters (1057 gallons) of water in the first minute. On average, one square meter of this new road surface, called “Topmix Permeable,” can drain 600 liters (159 gallons) in a minute.
In a statement, Tarmac said: “The high-tech concrete works by having a permeable layer on top, which allows water to drain through a matrix of large pebbles and then down into a loose base of rubble beneath.”
The water is then fed into a drainage system that’s connected to groundwater reservoirs. Thus, the water that quickly disappears from the surface is fed right back into the city’s irrigation system.
This breakthrough in permeable concrete is a huge step forward in how we deal with flooding. According to Tarmac, two-thirds of homes damaged in the U.K.'s 2007 floods were due to water running off pavements and inadequate drainage systems. The recent floods in Carolina further highlight the need for advancement in water management and drainage technology. As shown in the video below by Tech Insider, it’s also pretty awesome to watch.