TopMix Permeable: Why Are We Not Using This in Dallas?

A U.K. firm has created a water absorbing concrete that I seriously think we need to take a look at and begin using or making here in the U.S. STAT.

This concrete is called “TopMix permeable”  and it acts as a giant concrete sieve/sponge, allowing the rainwater to drain right through it. Working on the traditional Indian model of rainwater harvesting and infiltration, this concrete can save more than 880 gallons of water per minute. But I think its use will be vital in our increasingly dense, urban infill areas that are flat, where water pools and floods during wild rain storms.

  • On an average, it can up take 36,000 mm water per hour
  • The level of water absorption may vary from country-to-country based on its climatic conditions
  • Many Texas areas would benefit from the reduced rainwater

TopMix Permeable can help cities better manage storms — watch this video —  just please don’t tell those folks who still want a tollroad next to the Trinity!


  • In this process, water from the ground enters the soil
  • The infiltration rate of soil absorption may vary from region-to-region
  • It is measured in millimetres per hour or inches per hour
  • Quick wiping of water, keeping the surface clean
  • Safe parking areas
  • No floods or accumulation of water

And may have positive effects on the environment:

  • Urban life doesn’t come to halt during a heavy rainstorm
  • It filters petroleum hydrocarbons from dirty road water
  • It uplifts and balances natural groundwater
  • Of course, it also lowers urban heat by absorbing the water


Could the Trinity Tollroad have been paved in Topmix Permeable???

One Comment

  • The reason we don’t see these types of products used in DFW is our clay-heavy soil. There has to be somewhere for the water to go once it passes through the surface. If all that happens is the water filters through the surface and sits there then very little was actually accomplished other than removing the water from the surface.

    As a storm water or flooding solution, there is also very little difference between this permeable concrete and current roadway surfaces. If an area is flooding already (i.e. the water already has nowhere to go), this permeable surface will do little to nothing to resolve that. This product is not touted as a magical flooding solution. Proper storm drainage/flood control measures and engineering will still be needed which it by far the largest cost.