Influence of rainfall intensity and pollution build-up levels on water quality and quantity response of permeable pavements

Permeable pavements are part of stormwater management practices known as sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS). This study describes the influence of several environmental variables, such as the rainfall regime or the pollution build-up level, on the hydraulic and water quality performance of permeable pavements. Four infiltrometers with different configurations of pavement layers were used to study the influence of two rainfall regimes (Atlantic and Mediterranean) and two rainfall intensities (0.5 and 2.2 mm/min). The influence of the progressive pollution build-up level was studied by dry sprinkling of road deposited sediments collected with a mechanical street sweeper with a dose of 5 g/m²/d. The results show that permeable pavements retained a significant rainwater volume and improved the infiltrated water quality in terms of suspended solids, organic matter and nutrients when compared to the corresponding surface runoff potentially generated from an impervious pavement. The volume of rainwater retained inside them varied between 16 and 66% depending on the variables studied. The water infiltrated from permeable pavements subjected to a Mediterranean rainfall regime contained, in general, higher concentrations of organic matter (22 to 89 mg Chemical Oxygen Demand/l) and nutrients (0.6 to 2.1 mg Total Nitrogen/l and 0.05 to 0.45 mg Total Phosphorus/l) than those under Atlantic regime. However, the latter infiltrated higher loadings in terms of mass. Nitrogen was the substance that infiltrated the most, reaching a 25% of the total mass of nitrogen deposited on the pavements surface. The concentration and mass loading in infiltrated water increased as the pollution build-up level did. The leachability of nutrients and organic matter was greater for high rainfall intensities. The results suggest that it is essential to carry out an adequate cleaning in dry conditions, especially when high intensity rainfall events are foreseen, because of its greater capacity to mobilize pollutants.


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  • Accession Number: 01712240
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 26 2019 3:22PM