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