A Revolutionary Technique of Rainwater Harvesting Integrated into the Design of Buildings and Parking Lots By Prof.

Prithvi Singh Kandhal Associate Director Emeritus National Center for Asphalt Technology Auburn University, Alabama USA pkandhal@gmail.com ABSTRACT Architects are designing multi-storied commercial and residential buildings, which significantly increase the demand for water supply. In many states of India including Rajasthan the ground water is plunging at an alarming rate. Jaipur is a very good example. According to the Central Underground Water Board of India, all underground water will be depleted in Jaipur in about 10 years’ time. Responsible architects and town planners must be proactive and integrate rainwater harvesting techniques in the design of all types of buildings including parking lots and streets. This would recharge the ground water in over-exploited/critical areas of India. The revolutionary technology presented in this paper addresses that very need. The ground water problem was also felt in the US in urban areas, where rainwater simply runs off without charging ground water. The Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania developed porous asphalt pavement technology with the author as a consultant. About 95% of rainwater falling on a porous asphalt pavement goes to recharge ground water whereas only about 33% of rainwater falling on open land goes to recharge ground water primarily due to evapotranspiration losses. The porous asphalt pavement which can be used for parking lot or low-traffic streets works like this. The top 75 mm asphalt layer is specially designed to make it porous. Rainwater goes through it rapidly without any ponding. The water is then stored in an underlying open-graded stone bed, which is about 225 mm thick. From there, water percolates slowly into the underlying soil. There is hardly any evaporation loss. The porous parking lot or street can be integrated with a roof rainwater harvesting system in the buildings adjacent to it. 1. INTRODUCTION Architects and town planners are designing multi-storied commercial and residential buildings, which significantly increase the demand for water supply. Is the additional water supply available there? The Central Ground Water Board (CGWD) has identified about 800 regions in India in which ground water level is plunging at an alarming rate. These regions are located in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Gujrat, Bihar, Delhi and Tamilnadu. According to the 2004 data of CGWB, for every 125 units of ground water being taken out in Jaipur, only 100 units are replenished by rain. It is estimated that

1

the ground water level in Jaipur is falling at the rate of about one meter every year. According to the Central Underground Water Board of India, all underground water will be depleted in Jaipur in about 10 years’ time (Mathur, 2009). There is some water in rocks below 100 meters but that water contains harmful elements in it and may not be safe for drinking. We must act now to recharge the ground water in over-exploited/critical areas of India. The Ground Water Advisory Council on Artificial Recharge of the Ministry of Water Resources has suggested that there is a need to develop separate technologies for recharge specifically for urban areas. This paper addresses that very need. The ground water problem was also felt in the US in urban areas, where rainwater simply runs off without charging ground water. The Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was tasked in early 1970s to develop technologies to address the problem of plunging water table in urban areas. The author had the privilege of brainstorming with the Franklin Institute researchers in developing the concept of porous asphalt parking lot for urban areas (Thelen and Howe, 1978). This concept was tried in some pilot projects and was very successful. The concept was later fully developed in the 1980s. At the present time it is being used in many states of the US primarily for storm water management. The State of California has built over 150 projects since 1980. About 95% of rainwater falling on a porous asphalt parking lot goes to recharge ground water. Even in case of open ground with vegetation in rural areas, only about 33% of rainwater goes to recharge ground water primarily due to evapotranspiration losses. This proven concept of building porous asphalt pavements was declared Outstanding Engineering Project in 2000 by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

2. CONCEPT OF POROUS ASPHALT PAVEMENT TECHNOLOGY This technology is based on building porous asphalt pavements which can be used for parking lots, recreational areas, or low-volume streets and roads. The porous asphalt pavement works like this (Fig. 1). The top 50-100 mm thick asphalt layer is specially designed to make it porous. Rainwater goes through it rapidly without any ponding at the surface. The water is then stored in an underlying open-graded stone bed. From there, water percolates slowly into the underlying natural soil (subgrade). There is hardly any evaporation loss. Porous parking lots or streets can be integrated with roof rainwater harvesting systems in the buildings adjacent to it as explained later. There is no need to bore deep wells or construct deep pits. A typical cross-section of the porous asphalt pavement system is shown in Figure 2. The pavement consists of the following components: • Open-graded, porous asphalt course 50-100 mm (typically 75 mm) thick

2

• •

12.5 mm size aggregate choking layer 25-50 mm thick (this is placed over the stone bed so as to stabilize it and facilitate asphalt paving over it) Clean, uniformly graded 40-75 mm size crushed aggregate compacted layer to act as a water reservoir (typically it is 225 mm thick and contains more than 40% voids to accommodate rainwater) Non-woven geotextile to separate the soil subgrade and water reservoir course so that soil particles do not migrate from the subgrade into the stone water reservoir course thus choking it. Uncompacted natural soil subgrade (bed)

Fig. 1. Schematic of porous asphalt pavement

Fig. 2. Typical cross-section of porous asphalt pavement system

3

As mentioned earlier, rooftop rainwater harvesting systems of the buildings adjacent to porous parking lots or streets can be integrated into the porous asphalt pavement. A typical rooftop rainwater harvesting system for buildings consists of the following elements: 1. Vertical down pipes for carrying the water from the roof to ground level and a horizontal pipe system for connecting all down pipes. 2. A silting pit fitted with a steel screen 3. A soaking well with cement ring and shaft filled with filter media consisting of large stone, medium size stone and coarse sand. If the rooftop rainwater harvesting is integrated with the porous asphalt pavement, items 2 and 3 above are not required. The water from the rooftop is carried directly to the stone water reservoir and dispersed there with a perforated water pipe (Fig. 3). This means no silting pits and soaking well or bore hole which involves a lot of costs. In case of streets, water from the roof top of the buildings on the street can all be diverted to the stone water reservoir course. Another major advantage of this technology is that the water recharging the underground water is pure and free of contaminants.

Fig. 3. Roof rainwater harvesting integrated with porous asphalt pavement

3. DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF POROUS ASPHALT PAVEMENTS It is recommended that the in-situ soil permeability infiltration rate is 12.5 mm per hour. However, 2.5 mm per hour is acceptable by suitably increasing the thickness of the stone reservoir course. In Jaipur, the infiltration rate of the local soil is significantly higher than 12.5 mm per hour. Soil investigations should be carried out by boring and/or test pit to test for permeability, determining the depth of high water table, and determining depth to bedrock.

4

Compacted stone layer should be placed directly on natural soil subgrade (bed) because fill is not recommended. Although a flat soil bed is preferred, slope of natural soil bed should be limited to 5 percent. The thickness of compacted stone course (containing about 40% voids) should be designed to accommodate intensity and amount of rainfall prevailing in the region. Typical designs are made for 6 months/24-hour rain storms. Conservative designs are based on 20-year/24 hour rain storms, which can range from 35 mm to 400 mm in 24 hours. The structural design of the pavement including the compacted stone course and porous asphalt wearing course should be based on traffic using the facility. Normally, porous asphalt pavements are recommended for parking lots, recreational areas, and low-traffic roads (with limited truck use). The construction of porous parking lot does not require any special material or equipment. This concept can also be used on light traffic roads and streets (Kandhal, 2009). Work site should be protected from heavy equipment so that the natural soil subgrade (bed) is not compacted otherwise its permeability may be reduced. Before placing the stone reservoir layer, place a filter fabric over the soil bed so that soil particles do not migrate upwards and clog the stone reservoir layer. Place the porous asphalt course last on the entire project so that it is protected from construction debris. It should also be protected from soil laden runoff. Before placing the 50-100 mm thick porous asphalt course, place 25 to 50 mm thick layer of 12.5 mm size stone to stabilize the surface of the stone reservoir course and facilitate paving operation. The porous asphalt course should be designed as per established guidelines for open-graded asphalt friction courses (Kandhal, 2002). Normally, the asphalt mix would have 6 to 6.5 percent bitumen by weight of mix. Traffic should be restricted for 24 hours after construction of the porous asphalt wearing course.

4. PERFORMANCE OF POROUS ASPHALT PAVEMENT AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION The dramatic performance of porous asphalt pavements in the US is clearly visible in Figures 4, 5, and 6. Figure 4 shows a parking lot which is porous where the cars are parked whereas the driveway between the parked cars is dense asphalt. During rain, water is standing on the driveway but has percolated into the porous parking area. Figure 5 shows two parking lots just after rain. The one in the background is conventional dense asphalt parking lot whereas the one in the foreground is a porous asphalt parking lot. Their relative appearance after rain is so very clear. Figure 6 shows view of a highway in Chandler, Arizona during rain. The left lanes were constructed with porous asphalt and the right lanes were constructed

5

with conventional dense asphalt. After 20 years in service, the porous asphalt on this highway is still functional. This highway is in semi arid region of Arizona with very low rainfall similar to Rajasthan. It is absolutely clear that the porous asphalt technology works. Ninety-five percent of the rainwater falling on porous asphalt pavement goes to recharge the ground water. Therefore, its effectiveness in capturing rainwater is very close to paved catchment area around a “kund” (underground rainwater storage tank) found in semi arid regions

Fig. 4. View during rain: driveway is dense asphalt with water ponding on it; parking area on the right is porous asphalt with no water on surface

6

Fig. 5. View just after rain: parking lot in the background is dense asphalt with water still ponding on it; parking lot in the foreground is porous asphalt

Figure 6. Highway in Chandler, Arizona during rain; left lanes are porous asphalt and right lanes are conventional dense asphalt of Rajasthan. Figure 7 shows a “kund” in the native village of the author in Churu District of Rajasthan. Such a “kund” provides water for about 10 families for the whole year despite scant rainfall. It shows the power of a very small catchment area in supplying water. Therefore, the potential of recharging ground water from porous asphalt parking lots and low-traffic streets in urban areas such as Jaipur in huge and unimaginable.

7

Fig. 7. Typical “kund” in desert areas of Rajasthan with a small catchment to harvest rainwater

Figure 8 shows a glimpse of current water crisis in Jaipur. According to James Clarke, “A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation”. A politician will just order more water tankers whereas a statesman will implement rainwater harvesting technologies for the next generation. Unfortunately, India does not have statesmen at the state or national level. Therefore, it is all the more necessary for the public, architects, and town planners to be proactive in the national interest and try to incorporate rainwater harvesting techniques in their designs and planning.

8

Fig. 8. A glimpse of “water crisis” in Jaipur, Rajasthan

5. COSTS The cost of porous parking lot pavement is more than conventional dense parking lot. Using the 2007 Rajasthan PWD Schedule of Rates, the cost of conventional parking lot is Rs. 457 per sq m. Allowing for rooftop rainwater harvesting structures which are not needed, the cost of porous parking lot is Rs. 539 per sq m. Therefore, the porous parking lot would cost about 18 percent more than a conventional parking lot. This is not much considering the long range benefits of recharging critical ground water levels.

6. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Porous asphalt pavement is one of the responses to plunging ground water table in Jaipur and elsewhere in India. It can be integrated with the roof rainwater harvesting system effectively and economically. Properly designed and constructed porous asphalt pavement can last more than 20 years. Such a pavement can be used for parking lots, recreational areas, and low-volume roads and streets. Government should encourage (and mandate in critical areas) construction of porous asphalt pavements in urban areas. Architects and town planners should be proactive by incorporating this unique rainwater harvesting system while designing residential buildings, commercial buildings, and new townships. 7. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Figures 1 through 6 are courtesy of US National Asphalt Pavement Association and Figure 8 is courtesy of DNA Jaipur.

8. REFERENCES Jackson, N. (2003). Design, Construction and Maintenance Guide for Porous Parking Lots. National Asphalt Pavement Association, Information Series IS131, October 2003. Kandhal, P. S. (2002). Design, Construction and Performance of Open-Graded Asphalt Friction Courses. National Asphalt Pavement Association, Information Series IS-115, May 2002. Kandhal, P. S. (2009). Presentation made at the Water Resources Workshop held in Raj Bhawan of Jaipur on 4 November 2009 presided by H. E. Governor S. K. Singh.

9

Mathur, R. P. (2009). Presentation made at the Water Resources Workshop held in Raj Bhawan of Jaipur on 4 November 2009. Thelen, E. and L. F. Howe (1978). Porous Pavement. The Franklin Institute Reserch Laboratories, 1978.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Prof. Prithvi Singh Kandhal is Associate Director Emeritus of the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) based at Auburn University, Alabama, U.S.A. NCAT is the largest asphalt (bitumen) road technology center in the world. Prior to joining NCAT in 1988, Prof. Kandhal served as Chief Asphalt Road Engineer of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for 17 years. He is the first person born outside North America, who has held the following three national and international very prestigious positions in the asphalt road technology area: President, Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists (with members from all continents in the world) Chairman, American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International Committee on Road Paving Standards (responsible for over 200 standards used worldwide) Chairman, Transportation Research Board Committee on Asphalt Roads, U.S. National Academy of Sciences Prof. Kandhal has published over 120 technical papers and has co-authored the first ever textbook on asphalt road technology, which is used by more than 25 universities in the U.S. He has traveled to various countries in South America, Middle East, China, Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, and Australia to provide training and consulting services in asphalt (bitumen) technology. He has been to China three times to train their highway engineers in building world-class roads. In August 2011, Prof. Kandhal was inducted on the “Wall of Honour” established at the largest asphalt road research center in the United States. In April 2012, he received the “Lifetime Achievement Award in Asphalt Road Technology” from the International Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists during their annual banquet held in Austin, Texas, USA.

10

11

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful