Any owner who has ever bathed a horse while standing on a conventional concrete surface knows the soapy runoff can quickly turn that surface into a slick hazard for both animal and human. Stephen Higgins, PhD, director of Environmental Compliance for the Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, says horse owners and barn operators can install pervious concrete material in bathing and other water-retaining areas to reduce injury risk and protect precious water resources.

Pervious concrete is type of concrete material that allows rain water and runoff from activities such as bathing to pass through without significant pooling. Also known as porous concrete, porous pavement, or permeable concrete, the material is created by coating large aggregate with concrete paste. The resulting material allows water to run though a concrete slab. Due to its ability to filter water and to protect water quality, pervious concrete is used to pave streets and sidewalks and in sustainable construction projects. Around the farm, the material can be used in areas prone to water retention, Higgins said.

“Pervious concrete is best used in areas where you want to slow erosion or the speed of water—like under barn gutter downspouts—and it can also be useful in areas where traction is needed in the presence of water and/or soap,” Higgins said. “It is also used to filter agricultural runoff because it provides a solid/liquid separation system.”

The material’s filtering ability provides several environmental benefits as well, Higgins said.

“Because of its filtering abili