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Assessment of restorative maintenance practices on the infiltration capacity of permeable pavement

May 30, 2020

Permeable pavement has the potential to be an effective tool in managing stormwater runoff through retention of sediment and other contaminants associated with urban development. The infiltration capacity of permeable pavement declines as more sediment is captured, thereby reducing its ability to treat runoff. Regular restorative maintenance practices can alleviate this issue and prolong the useful life and benefits of the system. Maintenance practices used to restore the infiltration capacity of permeable pavement were evaluated on three surfaces: Permeable interlocking concrete pavers (PICP), pervious concrete (PC), and porous asphalt (PA). Each of the three test plots received a similar volume of runoff and sediment load from an adjacent, impervious asphalt parking lot. Six different maintenance practices were evaluated over a four-year period: Hand-held pressure washer and vacuum, leaf blower and push broom, vacuum-assisted street cleaner, manual disturbance of PICP aggregate, pressure washing and vacuuming, and compressed air and vacuuming. Of the six practices tested, five were completed on PICP, four on PC, and two on PA. Nearly all forms of maintenance resulted in increased average surface infiltration rates. Increases ranged from 94% to 1703% for PICP, 5% to 169% for PC, and 16% to 40% for PA. Disruption of the aggregate between the joints of PICP, whether by simple hand tools or sophisticated machinery, resulted in significant (p ≤ 0.05) gains in infiltration capacity. Sediment penetrated into the solid matrix of the PC and PA, making maintenance practices using a high-pressure wash followed by high-suction vacuum the most effective for these permeable pavement types. In all instances, when the same maintenance practice was done on multiple surfaces, PICP showed the greatest recovery in infiltration capacity.

Publication Year 2020
Title Assessment of restorative maintenance practices on the infiltration capacity of permeable pavement
DOI 10.3390/w12061563
Authors Mari Danz, William R. Selbig, Nicolas Buer
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Water
Index ID 70210695
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Wisconsin Water Science Center; Upper Midwest Water Science Center