Pervious Pavement

Photo Credit:Grassroots Ecology

Rebate Amount: $1.50/ ft²
Minimum of 100 square feet

Cost: $3–$40+/ ft²

Must be installed by a licensed contractor.

Commonly used for walkways, driveways, parking lots, patios, and low speed minimal traffic areas.

Receive a pervious pavement rebate of $1.50/square foot when you apply before installation!

Applicants can receive a pervious pavement rebate at a rate of $1.50/square foot up to $1,000 for residential properties and $10,000 for commercial properties. Please see details in the chart below. Applicants can apply for more than one rebate on one property over multiple calendar years if the maximum rebate cap has not been reached. Each property is limited to a lifetime rebate cap as listed below. A lifetime rebate indicates the total rebate funding that can be issued to one property across that property’s lifetime and multiple rebates.

Property Type Pervious Pavement Rebate Pervious Pavement Rebate Maximum  City Lifetime Rebate Maximum
Residential $1.50/square foot $1,000 $1,000 


(includes multi-family properties)

$1.50/square foot $5,000 $5,000 

Don’t stop at just a pervious pavement installation! Palo Alto applicants are eligible for a total of $3,000 for residential properties and $55,000 for commercial properties on a variety of rebates from Valley Water and the City of Palo Alto (City). You can browse these options on Valley Water’s Rebate Page and the City's Rebate Program Page.

Frequently Asked Questions


Types of Pervious Pavement
This rebate is provided for the following types of Pervious Pavement. If your preferred pervious pavement is not listed, contact the Watershed Protection Group at or by calling (650) 329-2122 to inquire whether this preference is eligible for a rebate:

  1. Porous Asphalt
  2. Pervious Concrete
  3. Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers (PICP)
  4. Grid Pavement

1.) Porous Asphalt
Porous (or open-graded) Asphalt contains no fine aggregate particles, thereby creating void spaces between the large aggregate comprising the pavement. This allows water to collect within and drain through the pavement. Porous Asphalt can increase safety on a road by reducing hydroplaning. Porous Asphalt tends to be lower in cost than individual pavers like grid pavement or PICP.


Porous Asphalt Diagram: Example Design 

2.) Pervious Concrete

Pervious Concrete is made from carefully controlled amounts of water and cementitious materials used to create a paste that forms a thick coating around large aggregate particles. Unlike conventional concrete, the mixture contains little or no sand, creating a substantial void content of 15% to 25% that allows water to flow through the pavement. Pervious Concrete is lower in cost than individual pavers like PICP or grid pavement. Pervious Concrete can be seen locally in the parking stalls at the Mitchell Park Library as pictured to the right. 

Pervious Concrete Parking Stalls at the Mitchell Park Library


Pervious Concrete Diagram: Example Design 

3.) Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers (PICP)
Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers (PICP) allow water to pass through the joint spacing between solid pavers. The void spaces between the crushed stones store water and infiltrate it into the soil subgrade. Not all interlocking concrete pavements are permeable — there must be openings between the pavers, and the openings must be filled with small aggregate (not sand) for the pavement to be effectively permeable. For aesthetic and maintenance reasons, PICP is more popular in walkways, crosswalks, and other similar features. PICP may be more easily repairable than Porous Asphalt or Pervious Concrete as small portions can be removed individually.


Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers (PICP) Diagram: Example Design

4.) Grid Pavement
Grid Pavement consists of a concrete or plastic grid structure filled with decorative gravel or planted with grass and underlain by a sandy gravel mixture of base material that promotes infiltration of stormwater. Grid Pavement looks and acts like pervious landscaping, but still provides structural support for occasional light use. It is often used low traffic parking lots and playing fields.
Grid Pavement is most effective when installed in areas with light traffic and is often used for low-traffic parking lots and playing fields. Larger commercial properties that regularly have trucks and other large automobiles may opt for pervious concrete or porous asphalt.

The two most common forms of Grid Pavement are Grass Flexible Porous Pavement and Gravel Flexible Porous Pavement.


Gravel Flexible Porous Pavement Diagram: Example Design

Grass Flexible Porous Pavement Diagram: Example Design

Minimum Criteria for Pervious Pavement

  • Pavement must be 100 square foot minimum in size.

  • Pervious pavement (no matter the type) must be installed by an experienced, licensed contractor.
  • Residential and Non-Residential projects greater than 2,500 square feet may require permits and are required to install one or more design features to increase permeable surfaces on the property. Pervious pavements count toward this requirement. 
  • SFPUC List of Green Infrastructure-Trained Contractors
    All the contractors on this list have completed training in permeable pavement or pervious pavement. Please reference this list to begin your search. The City is not responsible for any damage or construction mistakes as a result of an unlicensed contractor or DIY installation.

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