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This document combines several documents related to permeable pavement. Individual documents can be viewed by clicking on the appropriate link below. Fact sheets are not included in this combined document.
Porous pavement articles
Permeable pavements allow stormwater runoff to filter through surface voids into an underlying stone reservoir where it is temporarily stored and/or infiltrated. The most commonly used permeable pavement surfaces are pervious concrete, porous asphalt, and permeable interlocking concrete pavers (PICP). Permeable pavements have been used for areas with light traffic at commercial and residential sites to replace traditionally impervious surfaces such as low-speed roads, parking lots, driveways, sidewalks, plazas, and patios. While permeable pavements can withstand truck loads, permeable pavement has not been proven in areas exposed to high repetitions of trucks or in high speed areas because its’ structural performance and surface stability have not yet been consistently demonstrated in such applications.
While the designs vary, all permeable pavements have a similar structure, consisting of a surface pavement layer, an underlying stone aggregate reservoir layer, optional underdrains, and geotextile over uncompacted soil subgrade. From a hydrologic perspective, permeable pavement is typically designed to manage rainfall landing directly on the permeable pavement surface area. Permeable pavement surface areas may accept runoff contributed by adjacent impervious areas such as driving lanes or rooftops. Runoff from adjacent vegetated areas must be stabilized and not generating sediment as its transport accelerates permeable pavement surface clogging. Additionally, the capacity of the underlying reservoir layer limits the contributing drainage area.
Pretreatment that removes sediment from runoff draining onto permeable pavement from impervious surfaces is desirable since sediment can clog permeable pavements. For that reason, pretreatment areas should emit practically no sediment onto the permeable pavement surface. Locating such areas next to impervious surfaces upslope from the permeable pavement may not be possible on some sites. Permeable pavement itself can be considered a pretreatment device and included in a stormwater treatment train if underdrains are utilized within the storage reservoir. The underdrains will typically be routed to a bioretention area.
Permeable pavements can be utilized to assist in meeting stormwater requirements for volume, total suspended solids, and total phosphorus. The section on credits provides guidance on the implementation of permeable pavements that may be utilized to meet various runoff volume and pollutant runoff reduction goals ( credits).
In most cases, existing impervious surfaces can be replaced with permeable pavements to achieve improved runoff conditions. Retrofit requires the removal of the old pavement and subgrade and the installation of the underlying reservoir layer and the permeable pavement. For the greatest water quality credits, avoid compaction of subgrade soils. If this is not possible, compacted subgrade soils should be removed or loosened to achieve the maximum infiltration rate possible.
Favorable permeable pavement performance has been documented in cold climates. Air in the aggregate base acts as an insulating layer and the higher latent heat associated with higher soil moisture delays the formation of a frost layer while maintaining permeability and this condition also reduces frost depths when frozen. Winter sanding should be avoided when possible and if used, removed by vacuuming the following spring. Permeable pavements require significantly less use of, or in some cases, no deicing chemicals and sand to maintain a safe walking or driving surface. Other climate considerations include high wind erosion (California 2003). Dramatic reductions in life span of the infiltration properties of the pavement may occur in these areas due to particulate clogging and this may require additional surface vacuum cleaning.
Many of the same design considerations and limitations apply to permeable pavement as to other infiltration practices.
The table below provides guidance regarding the use of permeable pavement practices in areas upstream of special receiving waters. Note that the suitability of a practice depends on whether the practice has an underdrain (i.e. filtration vs. infiltration practice).
|BMP Group||receiving water|
|A Lakes||B Trout Waters||C Drinking Water2||D Wetlands||E Impaired Waters|
|Infiltration||RECOMMENDED||RECOMMENDED||NOT RECOMMENDED if potential stormwater pollution sources evident||RECOMMENDED||RECOMMENDED unless target TMDL pollutant is a soluble nutrient or chloride|
|Filtration||Some variations NOT RECOMMENDED due to poor phosphorus removal, combined with other treatments||RECOMMENDED||RECOMMENDED||ACCEPTABLE||RECOMMENDED for non-nutrient impairments|
1Filtration practices include green roofs, bmps with an underdrain, or other practices that do not infiltrate water and rely primarily on filtration for treatment.
2 Applies to groundwater drinking water source areas only; use the lakes category to define BMP design restrictions for surface water drinking supplies
In general, permeable pavement provides removal of TSS and other pollutants through processes similar to other filtration and infiltration BMPs. However, permeable pavements are not suggested for areas that may receive high loading rates of TSS due to their propensity for surface clogging. The expected annual volume and pollutant reductions for designs without an underdrain are a function of the underlying reservoir storage volume. The greater the storage volume, the greater the annual volume and pollutant reductions.
For designs with underdrains, reductions are typically lower depending on the drain outflow location that determines the volume of water removed by the underdrains before infiltration. Of the water intercepted and draining through the underdrain, 45 percent (with upper and lower 90 percent confidence bounds of 65 percent and 24 percent, respectively) of the total phosphorus and 74 percent (with upper and lower 90 percent confidence bounds of 93 percent and 33 percent, respectively) of total suspended solids removal can be expected. These event mean averages and ranges are derived from a literature review on research on permeable pavements. The literature includes 19 studies on pollutant reductions and 10 studies on volume reductions. (See the section on credits for more information on pollutant reduction credits and their relationship to the MIDS credit calculator).
The primary advantage of permeable pavements is providing volume reduction by reducing runoff from a site and/or providing attenuation from outflows. The volume of water that will be reduced during a given rainfall event will be equivalent to the volume available for storage below the pavement or underdrain (if an underdrain is present). More discussion on this item is available in the section on credits.
The most commonly used permeable pavement surfaces are pervious concrete, porous asphalt, and permeable interlocking concrete pavers. Other options include plastic and concrete grids, as well as amended soils (artificial media added to soil to maintain soil structure and prevent compaction). This document focuses on pervious concrete, porous asphalt and permeable interlocking concrete pavements. A general comparison of their properties is provided in the table. Additional requirements specific to each system should be obtained by designers from suppliers and from the local review authority.
For each of the above pavement surfaces, there are many variants depending on the design goals. For instance, permeable pavement can be installed with a deep underlying reservoir consisting of open-graded, crushed rock. This design provides water quality and quantity control by storing runoff and infiltrating it into the subgrade soils over an extended period of time. A second design variation includes a deep underlying reservoir consisting of open-graded, crushed rock above an impermeable layer of soil or a liner and an underdrain. The underdrain typically discharges to a wet pond or storm sewer system. This design provides some runoff flow attenuation, filtering, but no volume reduction. These two options provide different levels of treatment.
To assist with selection of a permeable pavement type, a general comparison of the properties of the three major permeable pavement types is provided in the table. Designers should check with product vendors and the local review authority to determine specific requirements and capabilities of each system. Schematic cross sections of each system are illustrated in the design section for permeable pavement.
Summary of properties of permeable pavements.
Link to this table
|Properties||Pervious concrete||Porous asphalt||PICP|
|Typical pavement surface thicknessa||5 to 8 inches||3 to 4 inches (thicker for high wheel load applications)||3 inchesa|
|Bedding layera,f||None||1 in. AASHTO No. 57 stone||2 inches of AASHTO No. 8 stone (MnDOT 3127 FA-3)|
|Reservoir layerb,f||AASHTO No. 57 stone or per hydraulic design||AASHTO No. 2, 3, or 5 stone||4 inches of AASHTO No. 57 stone over No. 2, 3 or 4 stone|
|Installed surfacing costc||3 to $4/square foot||$2/square foot||3 to $4/square foot|
|Minimum batch size|
|Runoff temperature reduction|
|Surface colors/texture||Range of light colors and textures||Black or dark grey colors||Wide range of colors, textures and patterns|
|Load bearing capacitye|
|Surface cleaningg||Periodic vacuuming; replace jointing stones if completely clogged and uncleanable|
||Avoid winter sanding|
aThickness may vary depending on site and traffic conditions
bReservoir storage may be augmented by corrugated metal pipes, plastic arch pipe or plastic lattice crates
cSupply and install minimum surface thickness only; minimum 30,000 sf with Minnesota 2012 prevailing labor wages. Does not include base reservoir, drainage appurtenances, engineering, or inspection
dBased on pavement being properly maintained. Resurfacing or rehabilitation may be needed after the indicated period
eDepends primarily on on-site geotechnical considerations and structural design computations
f ASTM D448 Standard Classification for Sizes of Aggregate for Road and Bridge Construction or ASASHTO M-43
gPeriodic vacuuming frequency determined from inspection, intensity of use, and other potential sediment sources