Seasonal Variability in Stormwater Quality Treatment of Permeable Pavements Situated Over Heavy Clay and in a Cold Climate

  • Ryan J. Winston
  • Keely M. Davidson-Bennett
  • Kristen M. Buccier
  • William F. Hunt


Permeable pavements mitigate the impacts of urbanization on surface waters through pollutant load reduction, both by sequestration of pollutants and stormwater volume reduction through exfiltration. This study examined the non-winter water quality performance of two side-by-side permeable pavements in the Ohio snowbelt. The permeable interlocking concrete pavements were designed to drain impervious catchments 2.2 (large) and 7.2 (small) times larger than their surface area, were located over clay soils, and incorporated the internal water storage design feature. Nutrient reduction was similar to past studies—organic nitrogen and particulate phosphorus were removed through filtration and settling, while dissolved constituents received little treatment. Because of 16 and 32 % volume reductions in the small and large installations, respectively, nutrient loads were often significantly reduced but generally by less than 50 %. Aluminum, calcium, iron, magnesium, lead, chloride, and total suspended solids (TSS) concentrations and loads often increased after passing through the permeable pavements; effluent TSS loads were three- to five-fold higher than influent TSS loads. This was apparently due to seasonal release of clay- and silt-sized particles from the soils underlying the permeable pavement and inversely related to elapsed time since winter. The application of de-icing salt is thought to have caused deflocculation of the underlying soils, allowing particulates to exit with stormwater as it discharged from the underdrain of the permeable pavements. By autumn, both permeable pavements discharged metals and TSS concentrations similar to others in the literature, suggesting the de-icing effects lasted 3–6 months post-winter. Sodium may substantially affect the performance of permeable pavements following winter de-icing salt application, particularly when 2:1 clay minerals, such as vermiculites and smectites, predominate.


Permeable interlocking concrete pavement Permeable pavement Pervious pavement Internal water storage Road salt Nutrients Sediment Heavy metals 



The authors would like to thank the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for their financial support of this work. Dr. Jay Dorsey, of Ohio Department of Natural Resources, is acknowledged for providing a critical review of the manuscript. We appreciate the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Laboratory and their staff, who completed the water quality sample analysis.

This work was supported by the University of New Hampshire under Cooperative Agreement No. NA09NOS4190153 (CFDA No. 11.419) from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of New Hampshire or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


  1. Agassi, M., Shainberg, I., & Morin, J. (1981). Effect of electrolyte concentration and soil sodicity on infiltration rate and crust formation. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 45(5), 848–851.Google Scholar
  2. American Public Health Association (APHA), American Water Works Association (AWWA), and Water Environment Federation (WEF) (2012). Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater. L Bridgewater (Ed.). 22nd ed., Washington, DC: American Public Health Association.Google Scholar
  3. Amrhein, C., Strong, J. E., & Mosher, P. A. (1992). Effect of deicing salts on metal and organic matter mobilization in roadside soils. Environmental Science and Technology, 26(4), 703–709.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Antweiler, R. C., & Taylor, H. E. (2008). Evaluation of statistical treatments of left-censored environmental data using coincident uncensored data sets: 1. Summary statistics. Environmental Science and Technology, 42(10), 3732–3738.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bannerman, R. T., Owens, D. W., Dodds, R. B., & Hornewer, N. J. (1993). Sources of pollutants in Wisconsin stormwater. Water Science and Technology, 28(3), 241–259.Google Scholar
  6. Bean, E. Z., Hunt, W. F., & Bidelspach, D. A. (2007). Evaluation of four permeable pavement sites in eastern North Carolina for runoff reduction and water quality impacts. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, 133(6), 583–592.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Booth, D. B., Karr, J. R., Schauman, S., Konrad, C. P., Morley, S. A., Larson, M. G., & Burges, S. J. (2004). Reviving urban streams: land use, hydrology, biology, and human behavior. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 40(5), 1351–1364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Borst, M., & Brown, R. A. (2014). Chloride released from three permeable pavement surfaces after winter salt application. Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 50(1), 29–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Boving, T, Stolt, M, & Augenstern, J (2004). Investigation of the University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI, porous pavement parking lot and its impact on subsurface water quality. Proceedings of the 33 Annual Meeting, Int. Association of Hydrologists. Zacatecas, Mexico: International Association of Hydrologists.Google Scholar
  10. Brattebo, B. O., & Booth, D. B. (2003). Long-term stormwater quantity and quality performance of permeable pavement systems. Water Research, 37(18), 4369–4376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brown, R. A., & Borst, M. (2013). Assessment of clogging dynamics in permeable pavement systems with time domain reflectometers. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 139(10), 1255–1265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Charters, F. J., Cochrane, T. A., & O’Sullivan, A. D. (2015). Particle size distribution variance in untreated urban runoff and its implication on treatment selection. Water Research, 85, 337–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Collins, K. A., Hunt, W. F., & Hathaway, J. M. (2008). Hydrologic comparison of four types of permeable pavement and standard asphalt in eastern North Carolina. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 13(12), 1146–1157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Collins, K. A., Hunt, W. F., & Hathaway, J. M. (2010). Side-by-side comparison of nitrogen species removal for four types of permeable pavement and standard asphalt in eastern North Carolina. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 15(6), 512–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. DeBusk, K. M., Hunt, W. F., & Line, D. E. (2010). Bioretention outflow: does it mimic nonurban watershed shallow interflow? Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 16(3), 274–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Drake, J., Bradford, A., & Van Seters, T. (2014a). Hydrologic performance of three partial-infiltration permeable pavements in a cold climate over low permeability soil. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 19(9), 04014016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Drake, J., Bradford, A., & Van Seters, T. (2014b). Stormwater quality of spring–summer–fall effluent from three partial-infiltration permeable pavement systems and conventional asphalt pavement. Journal of Environmental Management, 139, 69–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Drake, J., Bradford, A., & Van Seters, T. (2014c). Winter effluent quality from partial-infiltration permeable pavement systems. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 140(11), 04014036.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dunne, T., & Leopold, L. B. (1978). Water in environmental planning. San Francisco, California: W.H. Freeman and Company.Google Scholar
  20. Espey Jr, WH, Morgan, CW, & Masch, FD (1966). A study of some effects of urbanization on storm runoff from a small watershed. Technical Report 44D 07-6501 CRWR-2, Center for Water Resources. University of Texas at Austin: Austin.Google Scholar
  21. Fassman, E. A., & Blackbourn, S. (2010). Urban runoff mitigation by a permeable pavement system over impermeable soils. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 15(6), 475–485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fassman, E. A., & Blackbourn, S. D. (2011). Road runoff water-quality mitigation by permeable modular concrete pavers. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, 137(11), 720–729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fay, L., & Shi, X. (2012). Environmental impacts of chemicals for snow and ice control: state of the knowledge. Water Air and Soil Pollution, 223(5), 2751–2770.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Franks, C. A., Davis, A. P., & Aydilek, A. H. (2014). Effects of runoff characteristics and filter type on geotextile storm water treatment. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering, 140(2), 04013014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gee, G. W., & Bauder, J. W. (1986). Particle size analysis (Methods of soil analysis. Part 1: physical and mineralogical methods, pp. 383–411). Madison, Wis: Soil Science Society of America.Google Scholar
  26. Gilbert, J. K., & Clausen, J. C. (2006). Stormwater runoff quality and quantity from asphalt, paver, and crushed stone driveways in Connecticut. Water Research, 40(4), 826–832.Google Scholar
  27. Green, S. M., Machin, R., & Cresser, M. S. (2008). Long-term road salting effects on dispersion of organic matter from roadside soils into drainage water. Chemistry and Ecology, 24(3), 221–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Grimm, N. B., Sheibley, R. W., Crenshaw, C. L., Dahm, C. N., Roach, W. J., & Zeglin, L. H. (2005). N retention and transformation in urban streams. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 24(3), 626–642.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hirsch, R. M., Walker, J. F., Day, J. C., & Kallio, R. (1990). The influence of man on hydrologic systems. In Surface water hydrology (pp. 329–359). Boulder, Colorado: Geological Society of America.Google Scholar
  30. Hogland, W., Niemczynowicz, J., & Wajlman, T. (1987). The unit superstructure during the construction period. The Science of the Total Environment, 59, 411–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hunt, W. F., Smith, J. T., Jadlocki, S. J., Hathaway, J. M., & Eubanks, P. R. (2008). Pollutant removal and peak flow mitigation by a bioretention cell in urban Charlotte, NC. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 134(5), 403–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hunt, W. F., Davis, A. P., & Traver, R. G. (2012). Meeting hydrologic and water quality goals through targeted bioretention design. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 138(6), 698–707.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Keren, R., & Miyamoto, S. (1990). Reclamation of saline, sodic, and boron-affected soils. In Agricultural salinity assessment and management. ASCE manuals of practice no. 71. New York, NY: American Society of Civil Engineers.Google Scholar
  34. Kim, H. S., & Park, J. (2008). Effects of limestone on the dissolution of phosphate from sediments under anaerobic condition. Environmental Technology, 29(4), 375–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Kim, H., Seagren, E. A., & Davis, A. P. (2003). Engineered bioretention for removal of nitrate from stormwater runoff. Water Environment Research, 75(4), 355–367.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Knowles, R. (1982). Denitrification. Microbiological Reviews, 46(1), 43–70.Google Scholar
  37. Kwiatkowski, M., Welker, A., Traver, R., Vanacore, M., & Ladd, T. (2007). Evaluation of an infiltration best management practice utilizing pervious concrete. Journal of the American Water Resources Association., 43(5), 1208–1222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Legret, M., Colandini, V., & LeMarc, C. (1996). Effects of a porous pavement with reservoir structure on the quality of runoff water and soil. The Science of the Total Environment, 190, 335–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Li, H., Sharkey, L. J., Hunt, W. F., & Davis, A. P. (2009). Mitigation of impervious surface hydrology using bioretention in North Carolina and Maryland. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 14(4), 407–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Lucke, T., & Beecham, S. (2011). Field investigation of clogging in a permeable pavement system. Building Research and Information, 39(6), 603–615.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Luell, S. K., Hunt, W. F., & Winston, R. J. (2011). Evaluation of undersized bioretention stormwater control measures for treatment of highway bridge deck runoff. Water Science and Technology, 64(4), 974–979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. National Cooperative Soil Survey, United States Department of Agriculture. (2014). Mahoning soil series description. Rev. AR-DMc-RAR. Available:
  43. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). (2015). National Centers for Environmental Information. Local climatological data, Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport. Accessed October 1, 2015. Available:
  44. Neller, R. J. (1989). Induced channel enlargement in small urban catchments, Armidale, New South Wales. Environmental Geology and Water Sciences, 14(3), 167–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Nelson, S. S., Yonge, D. R., & Barber, M. E. (2009). Effects of road salts on heavy metal mobility in two eastern Washington soils. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 135(7), 505–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Norrström, A. C. (2005). Metal mobility by de-icing salt from an infiltration trench for highway runoff. Applied Geochemistry, 20(10), 1907–1919.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Norrström, A. C., & Bergstedt, E. (2001). The impact of road de-icing salts (NaCl) on colloid dispersion and base cation pools in roadside soils. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 127(1-4), 281–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Norrström, A. C., & Jacks, G. (1998). Concentration and fractionation of heavy metals in roadside soils receiving de-icing salts. Science of the Total Environment, 218(2), 161–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Soil and Water Conservation (2006). Rainwater and land development: Ohio’s standards for stormwater management, low impact development, and urban stream protection. 3rd edition. Ed: John MathewsGoogle Scholar
  50. Passeport, E., & Hunt, W. F. (2009). Asphalt parking lot runoff nutrient characterization for eight sites in North Carolina, USA. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 14(4), 352–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Paul, M. J., & Meyer, J. L. (2001). Streams in the urban landscape. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 32, 333–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Pezzaniti, D., Beecham, S., & Kandasamy, J. (2009). Influence of clogging on the effective life of permeable pavements. Proceedings of the ICE-Water Management, 162(3), 211–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Pitt, R., Clark, S., & Field, R. (1999). Groundwater contamination potential from stormwater infiltration practices. Urban Water, 1(3), 217–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Pitt, R., Maestre, A., & Morquecho, R. (2004). The national stormwater quality database (NSQD) version 1.1 report (University of Alabama, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tuscaloosa, AL).Google Scholar
  55. Pratt, C. J., Newman, A. P., & Bond, P. C. (1999). Mineral oil bio-degradation within a permeable pavement: long term observations. Water Science and Technology, 39(2), 103–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. R Core Team. (2015). A language and environment for statistical computing. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing.Google Scholar
  57. Roesner, L. A., Bledsoe, B. P., & Brashear, R. W. (2001). Are best-management-practice criteria really environmentally friendly? Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 127(3), 150–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Roseen, R. M., Ballestero, T. P., Houle, J. J., Briggs, J. F., & Houle, K. M. (2012). Water quality and hydrologic performance of a porous asphalt pavement as a storm-water treatment strategy in a cold climate. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 138(1), 81–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Roseen, R. M., Ballestero, T. P., Houle, K. M., Heath, D., & Houle, J. J. (2014). Assessment of winter maintenance of porous asphalt and its function for chloride source control. Journal of Transportation Engineering, 140(2), 04013007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Roy, A. H., Freeman, M. C., Freeman, B. J., Wenger, S. J., Ensign, W. E., & Meyer, J. L. (2005). Investigating hydrologic alteration as a mechanism of fish assemblage shifts in urbanizing streams. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 24(3), 656–678.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Rushton, B. (2001). Low-impact parking lot design reduces runoff and pollutant loads. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management., 172(3), 172–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Selbig, W. R. (2015). Characterizing the distribution of particles in urban stormwater: advancements through improved sampling technology. Urban Water Journal, 12(2), 111–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Smith, V. H., Tilman, G. D., & Nekola, J. C. (1999). Eutrophication: impacts of excess nutrient inputs on freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems. Environmental Pollution, 100(1), 179–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Soil Survey Staff, Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture (2015). Web soil survey. Accessed 28 January 2015.
  65. Sparks, D. L. (2003). Environmental soil chemistry. San Diego, CA: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  66. Strecker, E. W., Quigley, M. M., Urbonas, B. R., Jones, J. E., & Clary, J. K. (2001). Determining urban storm water BMP effectiveness. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 127(3), 144–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Sumner, M. E., Milles, W. P., Kookana, R. S., & Hazelton, P. (1998). Sodicity, dispersion, and environmental quality. In Sodic soils: Distribution, properties, management, and environmental consequences. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  68. Tota-Maharaj, K., & Scholz, M. (2010). Efficiency of permeable pavement systems for the removal of urban runoff pollutants under varying environmental conditions. Environmental Progress and Sustainable Energy, 29, 358–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). (1983). Methods of chemical analysis of water and waste. EPA-600/4-79-020, Cincinnati, Ohio.Google Scholar
  70. U.S. EPA (U.S. EPA). (1988). Ambient water quality criteria for chloride-1988. EPA 440/5-88-001, Office of Water Regulations and Standards, Criteria and Standards Division, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  71. U.S. EPA. (2002). Urban storm water BMP performance monitoring: a guidance manual for meeting the national storm water BMP database requirements (EPA-821-B-02-001). Washington, DC: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.Google Scholar
  72. U.S. EPA (2012). National water quality criteria. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Accessed October 2015.
  73. Van Haandel, A. C., & Van der Lubbe, J. G. M. (2012). Handbook of biological wastewater treatment: design and optimisation of activated sludge systems (2nd ed.). London, UK: IWA Publishing.Google Scholar
  74. Walsh, C. J., Roy, A. H., Feminella, J. W., Cottingham, P. D., Groffman, P. M., & Morgan, R. P. (2005). The urban stream syndrome: current knowledge and the search for a cure. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 24(3), 706–723.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Wardynski, B. J., Winston, R. J., & Hunt, W. F. (2012). Internal water storage enhances exfiltration and thermal load reduction from permeable pavement in the North Carolina mountains. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 139(2), 187–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Winston, R. J., Dorsey, J. D. and Hunt, W. F. (2015). Monitoring the performance of bioretention and permeable pavement stormwater controls in Northern Ohio: hydrology, water quality, and maintenance needs. Final Report Submitted to the University of New Hampshire and the Chagrin River Watershed Partners. In Fulfilment of NOAA Award number NA09NOS4190153. Available:
  77. Winston, R. J., Al-Rubaei, A. M., Blecken, G.-T., Viklander, M., & Hunt, W. F. (2016). Maintenance measures for preservation and recovery of permeable pavement surface infiltration rate—the effect of vacuum cleaning, high pressure washing, and milling. Journal of Environmental Management., 169, 132–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryan J. Winston
    • 1
  • Keely M. Davidson-Bennett
    • 2
  • Kristen M. Buccier
    • 2
  • William F. Hunt
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Food, Agricultural, and Biological EngineeringThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Chagrin River Watershed Partners, Inc.WilloughbyUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biological and Agricultural EngineeringNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

Personalised recommendations