PUYALLUP -- John Stark created a permeable pavement parking lot at the Storm Water Research Center at Washington State University in Puyallup.
"It’s asphalt but it has a different formula where it allows water to just go right through it as if it were sand. This material enables the water to go straight down into our soil, so that it doesn’t run off and collect pollutants and move them into our ecosystems."
The WSU professor isn’t the first in the state to lay down permeable pavement but he is one of the first in the state to explore how to improve the durability of permeable pavement so that it can be used on a larger scale.
This pavement John says could help save our environment.
“The more and more people move into the region our population problem become bigger and bigger so we got to come up with solutions to address that issue or the Sound become damaged more and more."
But right now, using the permeable pavement is would require some changes.
"Generally speaking it doesn't hold up as well as conventional pavement, so it doesn't have the durability."
Stark and WSU partnered with Boeing recently and used scrap composite materials from 787 Boeing airplane to help make this pavement more durable.
"There are advanced materials that are made from carbon fiber and they're used to strengthen the airplane. They make the airplane lighter and improve the fuel efficiency of the airplane," said Paul Wright, who serves as the Environmental Strategist for Boeing.
"Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if our roadway was like a Brita Filter for the earth?" Wright asked.
John Stark agrees. He just completed the first test of pavement samples using Boeing composite materials and so far the results are promising.
"The water goes straight through it and it doesn’t run off at all."