The Ultimate Flood Solution
What is Topmix Permeable?
Top mix permeable is a super absorbent concrete capable of swallowing large amounts of water in just seconds, thus eliminating flooding. According to Chris Weller's article found on TechInsider.com, this concrete can drain water at a staggering rate of 880 gallons per minute. That means the absorbent concrete could drain an entire Olympic size swimming pool in just 12 and a half hours. Surely it can withstand draining the flooded streets and sidewalks of Texas A&M University. --Hannah Toerner
How does it work?
Topmix permeable has the ability to store, filter, and reuse the rain water it collects. In an article by Richard Grey, in the Daily Mail UK, he explains that there are three different types of implementation, as shown above. The first method of implementation, System A, lets rain water seep through the top layer of the concrete and into an absorbent sponge-like layer which deposits the rain water back into the ground, while also keeping the top layer of concrete cool. System B, however works a little differently. While water still seeps through a permeable layer and into a sponge-like layer, only some of the water is returned to the ground underneath, while the rest of the water is sent to a drainage system to be filtered and reused as tap water, drinking water, or simply used to water places on campus that did not receive as much rain. The last method, System C, similarly lets water seep through a permeable layer, but instead of being deposited back into the ground below, the water is drained, collected, and filtered, which give Texas A&M University the ability to use the water however they please. --Hannah Toerner
Problems That Topmix Permeable Can Solve
A Campus of Puddles
In choosing an area to tackle first, our company looked at three choice. We took into account the areas of Evans Library, Academic Plaza, and the area near blocker. Of these areas we took into account the amount of foot traffic and the affect the area has on the university as a whole. Looking at all of these, we chose Academic Plaza not only because of the number of people that walk through it on a daily basis but also because of the tradition that it holds for Texas A&M. Academic Plaza is home to the Academic building which according to Sam Peshek in The Eagle, a local newspaper, is an “architectural crown jewel” of the university on its 100 year anniversary last year. Also there are other Texas A&M landmarks located in Academic Plaza like the Century tree, the Silver Taps memorial, and the statue of Sully. --Allison Flack
Not only is Academic Plaza rich in history it is also a main focus on the campus tours that are given daily to visitors and potential students. Replacing the concrete to keep the plaza dry and our visitors from having wet feet. Not everyone is as well prepared for the rain as Reveille is. Sometimes the rain comes out of nowhere and if Academic Plaza is not covered in puddles, the run to shelter would be a lot easier than having to trudge through a foot of water to keep your hair dry. All current students, former students, and prospective students would appreciate Topmix Permeable replacing the concrete in Academic Plaza since it is a solution to the problem of flooding on the Texas A&M Campus. --Allison Flack
The Quest: A Puddle Free Academic Plaza - Ryan Wells
Hidden inside that massive zone of red is College Station Texas. We can receive up to 40 or 50 inches of rain in one year here! Especially in a rainy year like this, we can see rain for days at a time before it stops.
You can check out your local rainfall totals at the National Weather Service website.
Too Big to Fail
Challenges Facing the Renovation
1) The Students
It is a well known fact that there are less students during the summer sessions here on campus. So by holding it over the summer we will be disturbing as few students as possible.
2) Silver Taps
Silver Taps is held during the Fall and Spring sessions of the academic year. So by renovating during the summer we will not stop this tradition.
The only other challenge we face is the monuments. All of these monuments could be temporarily moved for only a few thousand dollars each (Murphy). Then once the renovations are done they can be brought back to their original place.
The Benefits of Implementation
The Environmental Benefits
Topmix Permeable is an environmentally friendly alternative to regular concrete or asphalt. For starters, the traditional concrete and asphalt used on sidewalks and roadways today are not absorbent. If it starts to rain, the oil, chemicals, and dirt that dried onto the asphalt rise to form a slick, hazardous layer. This causes slick layer causes pedestrians to slip and fall, and also causes drivers do skid and crash. As well as worrying about potential accidents, you have to worry about all the chemicals, oil and dirt being washed away from the roads and into a city’s water supply. As you can see, the current roadways and sidewalks are not exactly friendly to you or the environment. However, Topmix Permeable can eliminate all of these problems as it eliminates the floods. In a statement issued by Tarmac, the creators of Topmix Permeable, the reveal that The storm water collected by Topmix Permeable concrete can be filtered and put back into the environment as clean, oil and chemical free water. This ensures that Texas A&M will be keeping their grass green and their campus clean. --Hannah Toerner
The Economical Benefits
Topmix Permeable has the potential to save Texas A&M money because it eliminates the chance of flooding, thus, decreasing the amount of money spent on repairs and draining that take place after the floods. Aside from saving money because of damage, Topmix Permeable has the potential to save money by collecting, filtering and re-using the rain water it collects, according to ScienceAlert.com. For example, let’s assume the average person uses 100 gallons of water per day. If Topmix Permeable is working at maximum efficiency (collecting 880 gallons per minute), for one whole day, it could provide enough water for almost 13,000 students for the day. That is 13,000 less students that Texas A&M has to pay a water bill for. --Hannah Toerner
"AHPS Precipitation Analysis." AHPS Precipitation Analysis. National Weather Service, 1 Oct. 2015. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.
"A&M Enrollment Reaches Record 58,809, Tops In Texas And Among Top 5 Nationally | Texas A&M Today." Texas AM Today. Ed. Lane Stephenson. N.p., 26 Sept. 2013. Web. 01 Dec. 2015.
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Lucke, Terry, et al. "A Simple Field Test to Evaluate the Maintenance Requirements of Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavements." Water (20734441) 7.6 (2015): 2542-54. Web.
MURPHY, SEAN. "Workers Begin Moving Ten Commandments Monument from Oklahoma Capitol to Private Think-Tank." Canadian Press, TheWeb.
Gray, Richard. "An End to Puddles? Bizarre 'thirsty' Concrete Sucks up Hundreds of Gallons of Water in Less than a Minute Daily Mail UK. MailOnline, 21 Sept. 2015. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.
"This New 'thirsty' Concrete Absorbs 4,000 Litres of Water in 60 Seconds." Science Alert. BEC Crew, 27 Sept. 2015. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.
"Topmix Permeable: The Ultimate Permeable Concrete System." Tarmac Solutions. Tarmac, n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.
Weller, Chris. "This 'thirsty' Concrete Absorbs 880 Gallons of Water a Minute." Tech Insider. N.p., 28 Sept. 2015. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.