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Increasing exfiltration from pervious concrete and temperature monitoring

Tyner, J.S., Wright, W.C., Dobbs, P.A.
Journal of environmental management 2009 v.90 no.8 pp. 2636-2641
stormwater, concrete, drainage channels, clay soils, infiltration (hydrology), air temperature, best management practices
Pervious concrete typically has an infiltration rate far exceeding any expectation of precipitation rate. The limiting factor of a retention based pervious concrete system is often defined by how quickly the underlying soil subgrade will infiltrate the water temporarily stored within the concrete and/or aggregate base. This issue is of particular importance when placing a pervious concrete system on compacted fine textured soils. This research describes the exfiltration from twelve pervious concrete plots constructed on a compacted clay soil in eastern Tennessee, USA. Several types of treatments were applied to the clay soil prior to placement of the stone aggregate base and pervious concrete in an attempt to increase the exfiltration rate, including: 1) control - no treatment; 2) trenched - soil trenched and backfilled with stone aggregate; 3) ripped - soil ripped with a subsoiler; and 4) boreholes - placement of shallow boreholes backfilled with sand. The average exfiltration rates were 0.8 cm d⁻¹ (control), 4.6 cm d⁻¹ (borehole), 10.0 cm d⁻¹ (ripped), and 25.8 cm d⁻¹ (trenched). The trenched treatment exfiltrated fastest, followed by the ripped and then the borehole treatments, although the ripped and borehole treatments were not different from one another at the 5% level of significance. The internal temperature of the pervious concrete and aggregate base was monitored throughout the winter of 2006-2007. Although the temperature of the pervious concrete dropped below freezing 24 times, freezing concrete temperatures never coincided with free water being present in the large pervious concrete pores. The coldest recorded air temperature was -9.9 °C, and the corresponding coldest recorded pervious concrete temperature was -7.1 °C. The temperature of the pervious concrete lagged diurnal air temperature changes and was generally buffered in amplitude, particularly when free water was present since the addition of water increases the thermal capacity of the pervious concrete greatly. The temperature of the aggregate base was further buffered to diurnal changes, and no freezing temperatures were recorded.