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National Level Students` Technical Symposia

May 06-07, 2008



Powerful tool in the toolbox for storm-water management.

Dept. of Civil Engineering
University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering, Bangalore-56.
Postal address: # 1323, Ist cross, A-Block, Sahakaranagar, Bangalore-92.
Ph. no: 9845908277

Dept. of Civil Engineering
University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering, Bangalore-56.
Postal address: # 23, G-1, Anugraha Apts., Kaveri Nagar, NHCS layout, Bangalore-79
Ph. No: 9972865814
Abstract: Storm-water runoff problems and impacts are most evident in areas where urbanization has occurred.
Changes in land use have a major effect on both the quantity and quality of storm -water runoff. Urbanization, if not
properly planned and managed, can dramatically alter the natural hydrology of an area. Increased impervious
cover decreases the amount of rainwater that can naturally infiltrate into the soil and increases the volume and rate
of storm -water runoff. These changes lead to more frequent and severe flooding and potential damage to public
and private property. These damages include roads, culverts and water and sewer line washouts, the deposition of
sediment and debris on roads and bridges.

Is it possible to have a storm water management practice that reduces impervious areas, recharges groundwater,
improves water quality, eliminates the need for detention basins, and provides a useful purpose besides storm
water management? This seems like a lot to expect from any storm-water measure, but porous asphalt pavement
on top of recharge beds has a proven track record. With the proper design and installation, porous asphalt can
provide cost-effective, attractive pavements with a life span of more than twenty years and at the same time
provide storm-water management systems that promote infiltration, improve water quality, and many times
eliminate the need for a detention basin. The performance of porous asphalt pavements is similar to that of other
asphalt pavements. And, like other asphalt pavements, they can be designed for many situations. This paper
provides an overview of the various facts related to Porous Asphalt Pavements, briefly describing the properties,
design, construction and its applications. This is a pioneering attempt to establish the fact that porous asphalt
pavements are an effective solution to many road related problems caused due to storm-water.
An overview of Porous Asphalt Pavement:

The increasing traffic volumes on road networks together with the wet climate have led to an increased need for
adequate surface drainage. Porous asphalt pavement is a paved surface and subbase comprised of asphalt,
gravel, and stone, formed in a manner resulting in a permeable surface. The various layers, called "courses," have
the potential for storm-water detention. Storm-water which passes through the pavement may completely or
partially infiltrate the underlying soil, the excess being collected and routed to an overflow facility through
perforated underdrain pipes. Porous asphalt pavement was first developed in the 1970s at the Franklin Institute in
Philadelphia. Subsequently, it has been successfully used within Europe over the past decade particularly in
France and Belgium.

Porous Asphalt pavements are required in India for reducing noise and providing good riding surface during
wet weather conditions. The macrotexture of the porous asphalt is higher than both the dense-graded mixtures and
the coarse-graded bituminous mixtures. The mix contains 20 to 22% porosity by volume of the mixture. Porous
asphalt mixture requires stiff bitumen with additives to maintain the durability of mixes.

Typical Cross Section

How does it work?
Porous asphalt pavement consists of standard bituminous asphalt in which the aggregate fines
(particles smaller than 600 m) have been screened and
reduced, allowing water to pass through the asphalt. Underneath
the pavement, a bed of uniformly graded and clean-washed
aggregate with a void space of 40% is placed. Storm-water
drains through the asphalt, is held in the stone bed, and
infiltrates slowly into the underlying soil mantle. The bottom of
the recharge bed is excavated to a level surface and is not
compacted. This allows water to distribute and infiltrate evenly
over the entire bed bottom area. Compaction of the soils will
prevent infiltration, so it is important that care be taken during
excavation to prevent this. A layer of geotextile filter fabric
separates the stone bed from the underlying soil, preventing the
movement of fines into the bed.

Design Considerations:
Porous asphalt pavement systems should be designed by registered professional engineers.

Slope: The slope of porous asphalt pavement should not exceed 5% and is best when as flat as possible.

Depth: The depth of the stone reservoir should be such that it drains completely within 72 hours.

Residence Time: As a general design rule, a minimum residence time of 12 hours should be a target for
the design storm
Effects of Frost: If frost penetrates deeper than the thickness of the pavement and reservoir courses, and
the subgrade soil has potential for frost heaving, it is recommended that additional defrosting agents be
added to the reservoir course to below the frost zone.

Table showing Porous asphalt mix design criteria:

Sieve Size (inch/mm) Percent Passing (%)

0.75/19 100
0.50/12.5 85-100
0.375/9.5 55-75
No.4/4.75 10-25
No.8/2.36 5-10
No.200/0.075 (#200) 2-4

Binder Content (AASHTO T164) 5.5-6.0%

Penetration grade 80/100
Air Void Content by Corelok (ASTM D6752)* 16.0-20.0%
Air Void Content by Paraffin wax (AASHTO T275 )* 18.0-22.0%
Drain down (ASTM D6390)** <= 0.3 %
Retained Tensile Strength (AASHTO 283)*** >= 80 %
Table showing Gradations of filter, and reservoir course materials.
U.S. Standard Percent Passing (%)
Sieve Size Choker Course Reservoir Res. Course
(AASHTO No. Course Alt.*
3) 5)
6" (150mm) - -
2 (63mm) - 100 -
2" (50mm) - 90-100 -
1 (37.5mm) 100 35-70 100
1 (25mm) 95-100 0-15 90-100
3/4" (19mm) - - 20-55
(12.5mm) 25-60 0-5 0-10
3/8" (9.5mm) - - 0-5
#4 (4.75mm) 0-10 - -
#8 (2.36mm) 0-5 - -

Alternate gradations (e.g. AASHTO No. 5) may be accepted Engineer's approval

Before the entire development site is graded, the planned area for the porous pavement should be roped off by
Construction Barriers to prevent heavy equipment from compacting the underlying soils. Install Diversions as
needed to keep runoff off the site until the porous pavement is in place. The various steps involved in the the
contruction of porous asphalt pavement have been enumerated below,

1. Installation of Porous Media Beds:

Grade Control:
Establish and maintain required lines and elevations. The Engineer shall be notified for review and
approval of final stake lines for the work before construction work is to begin. Finished surfaces shall be
true to grade and even, free of roller marks and free of low spots to form puddles. All areas must drain.

Subgrade preparation:
Existing subgrade under bed areas shall NOT be compacted or subject to excessive construction
equipment traffic prior to geotextile and stone bed placement. Bring subgrade of stone porous media bed
to line, grade, and elevations indicated. Fill and lightly regrade any areas damaged by erosion, ponding, or
traffic compaction before the placing of stone. Where erosion of subgrade has caused accumulation of fine
materials and/or surface ponding, this material shall be removed with light equipment and the underlying
soils scarified to a minimum depth of 6 inches with a York rake or equivalent and light tractor.
Geotextile Installation:

Geotextile shall be placed immediately after approval of subgrade preparation. Any accumulation
of debris or sediment which has taken place after approval of subgrade shall be removed prior to installation of
geotextile.Non-woven geotextile filter fabric is used. Adjacent strips of geotextile shall overlap a minimum of
sixteen inches (40cm). Secure geotextile at least four feet (1.2m) outside of bed and take any steps necessary to
prevent any runoff or sediment from entering the storage bed. Geotextile liners are not recommended for use on

bottom of system if designing for infiltration.

Porous Media Bed Installation:

A reservoir course consisting of coarse aggregates (35-80mm) in 20 cm maximum lifts is installed
and each layer is lightly compact with plate compactors. The minimum depth of this layer shall be 25cm. Install
choker base course aggregate (1.25cm stone) evenly over surface of stone bed, sufficient to allow placement of
pavement. The layer thickness of the choker base course must be 2.5-5cm.

2. Installation of Porous Asphalt Pavement :

Spreading and Finishing.

The asphalt mixture, at the time of discharge from the haul vehicle, shall be within 6 C (10 F) of
the compaction temperature for the approved mix design. Porous Asphalt shall be placed in a single application at
4 inches thick. The Contractor shall protect all exposed surfaces that are not to be treated from damage during all
phases of the pavement operation. The asphalt mixture shall be spread and finished with the specified equipment.
The mixture shall be struck off in a uniform layer to the full width required and of such depth that each course,
when compacted, has the required thickness and conforms to the grade and elevation specified. Pavers shall be
used to distribute the mixture over the entire width or over such partial width as practical. On areas where
irregularities or unavoidable obstacles make the use of mechanical spreading and finishing equipment impractical,
the mixture shall be spread and raked by hand tools.

Immediately after the asphalt mixture has been spread, struck off, and surface irregularities
adjusted, it shall be thoroughly and uniformly compacted by rolling. The surface shall be rolled when the mixture is
in the proper condition and when the rolling does not cause undue displacement, cracking, or shoving. The
number, mass (weight), and type of rollers furnished shall be sufficient to obtain the required compaction while the
mixture is in a workable condition. Generally, one breakdown roller will be needed for each paver used in the
spreading operation. To prevent adhesion of the mixture to the rolls, rolls shall be kept moist with water or water
mixed with very small quantities of detergent or other approved material. Excess liquid will not be permitted. Along
forms, curbs, headers, walls, and other places not accessible to the rollers, the mixture shall be thoroughly
compacted with hot or lightly oiled hand tampers, smoothing irons or with mechanical tampers. On depressed
areas, either a trench roller or cleated compression strips may be used under the roller to transmit compression to
the depressed area.
All porous pavements should be inspected several times in the first few months after construction,
and at least annually thereafter. Inspections should be conducted after large storms to check for surface ponding
that might indicate local or widespread clogging. If severe clogging occurs, the entire structure may have to be
replaced. The porous pavement surface should be vacuum swept at least four times per year, followed by high
pressure jet hosing to keep the asphalt pores open. Spot clogging of the porous pavement layer can be relieved by
drilling half-inch holes through the porous asphalt layer every few feet. In cases where clogging occurs in a low
spot in the pavement, it may be advisable to install a drop inlet to route water into the stone reservoir. Potholes and
cracks can be repaired using conventional, non-porous patching mixes as long as the cumulative area repaired
does not exceed 10% of the parking lot area.

Costs of porous pavement installation depends on the application method chosen. Materials costs
are often higher for porous paving applications but this expense can usually be offset by the need for less land,
piping and other materials that would otherwise be required for traditional stormwater management
practices.Because porous pavement is designed to "fit into" the topography of a site, there is generally less
earthwork. The underlying stone bed is usually more expensive than a conventional compacted sub-base, but this
cost difference is offset by eliminating the detention basin and other components of stormwater management
systems. On projects where unit costs have been compared, the porous pavement has been the less expensive
option. Porous pavements are therefore attractive on both environmental and economic grounds.

Some of the possible benefits over conventional pavement include.
Removal of fine particulates and soluble pollutants through soil infiltration.
Reduction in the volume of runoff leaving the site and entering storm sewers.
Reduction in soil erosion.
Groundwater recharge.
It also helps to reduce land consumption by reducing the need for traditional storm-water management.
It helps in water conservation.
Cleans storm-water, replenishes aquifers and protects streams.
Reduced splash and spray in wet conditions.
Significant reduction in noise levels.
Reduction in tendency to aquaplane.
Improved wet skid resistance.

Clogging of pavement pores generay occurs due to operational and construction schedulling
problems.For example,fill of construction materials on finished pavements or hillside ersion and sedimentation may
clog the pavement and reduce its permeability.These are also ineffetive if the pavement is frozen due to snow and
rainfall occurs during this period.Another disadvantage is that som of the existing codes of practice might not be
suitable for this new technology on modification of which might escalte the cost of the pavement.
Application of Porous Asphalt Pavements

Land Use: Mostly urban, urbanizing and transportation

Soil/Topography/Climate: This practice should only be used on sites with gentle slopes, permeable
soils, and relatively deep water table and bedrock levels. Soils should be well or moderately well
drained. Since subgrade soils will differ in their capacity to infiltrate and percolate water, the design of
porous pavement will vary slightly based on soil type. Meteorological conditions will affect the design
infiltration rate for the top pavement course, and the volume necessary in the reservoir course.
Meteorological conditions will also affect frost penetration depth. This practice is not recommended for
barren areas subject to wind erosion.

When to Apply: Apply when the soil, topography and climatic conditions listed above can be met.

Where to Apply: Apply in low-volume parking lots and roads. The area is generally limited to 0.25 to
10.0 acres and generally serves only a small section of the watershed. This can also accept rooftop and
adjacent parking lot runoff. Even after twenty years, porous pavements show little if any cracking or
pothole problems. The surface wears well. Porous asphalt retains its ability to handle rain water for
many years. One of the best-known porous parking lots, located at the Walden Pond State Reservation
in Massachusetts, was constructed in 1977. While it has never been repaved, it is in good shape and
still drains effectively. Many porous asphalt pavements have outperformed their conventionally paved
counterparts in terms of both parking lot durability and storm-water management. The open-graded
asphalt surface used for porous pavements has been used extensively to surface high-volume
highways that carry heavy trucks. Several current suburban projects are exploring its use in subdivision
roads. A few porous highways and city streets have been constructed around the world, and have
performed well.
Porous Asphalt Parking Lot - A Case Study:

Study Area: Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District in Minnesota.

Parking Lot Square Footage: 7,000 sq. ft.

Cost: ~$9.50/sq ft for excavation, installation, materials, and labor

Rain storm: August 1, 2006

Runoff Potential with Pervious Asphalt: The parking lot was designed for 100% infiltration up to
a 2-inch rainfall; therefore any rain event up to this amount will have 0 inches runoff.

Calculation for Amount of runoff diverted:

V = A2 * R * 0.90 * 0.0833 ft/in * 7.5 gal/ft3

Where: V = volume of runoff (gal)

A2 = paved surface area (square ft)
R = rainfall (inches)
0.90 = loss (usually through evaporation; unit less)
0.0833 = conversion factor (feet per inch)
7.5 = conversion factor (gallons per cubic foot)

So: V = (7000) * 1 inch * 0.9 * 0.0833 ft/in * 7.5 gal/ft3

Amount of Runoff Diverted: 3935.9 gallons water runoff in a 1-inch rainfall.

Where It Doesn't Work
Because porous asphalt has reduced fines, it has less shear-strength capability and therefore is
not recommended for such situations as airport taxiways or slopes greater than 6%. There are also
locations where the threat of spills and groundwater contamination is quite real. In those situations (such
as truck stops and heavy industrial areas),systems to treat for water quality (such as filters and wetlands)
have to be applied before any infiltration occurs. The ability to contain spills must also be considered and
built into the system.

The conclusions that can be drawn from this study are summarized below

It is possible to have a stormwater management practice that reduces impervious areas, recharges
groundwater, improves water quality, eliminates the need for detention basins, and provides a useful
purpose besides stormwater management in the form of porous asphalt pavements.
Porous pavement is especially well suited for parking-lot areas. Several dozen large, successful porous
pavement installations, including some that are now 20 years old, have been developed. These
systems continue to work quite well as both parking lots and stormwater management systems.
Porous asphalt pavement eliminates the danger of hydroplaning and offers enhanced surface friction
thus reducing spray and night glare during wet weather conditions.
To overcome various design challenges such as, cold weather climates, sloping topography or
carbonate geology that is prone to sinkhole formation, Engineers have to carefully analyze site
conditions before design so that the final recommended solutions compliment the site features and
Porous asphalt pavements are fast and easy to construct. With proper information, most asphalt plants
can easily prepare the mix and general paving contractors can install it.
The stone bed, often eighteen to thirty-six inches in depth, provides a tremendous subbase for the
pavement. As a result, porous asphalt pavements tend not to exhibit cracking and pothole formation
Porous asphalt has been proven to last for decades, even in extreme climates, and even in areas with
many freeze-thaw cycles.
Contaminants on the surface of pavements tend to become part of runoff, but with a porous pavement,
they are washed into the stone bed. From there they flow down into the soil, where beneficial bacteria
and other natural processes cleanse them.
Porous asphalt pavements have been shown to mitigate the urban heat island effect. Open-graded
asphalt roads and highways-which use the same surface material as porous parking lots-have been
shown to lower nighttime surface temperatures as compared to impervious pavements.

Hence porous asphalt pavements offer Engineers a new tool in their toolbox for managing storm water
and also make a significant contribution to the environment by conserving subsurface sources of water.
Water Resources Protection Technology: A Handbook of Measures to Protect Water
Resources in Land Development." The Urban Land Institute. 1981.
DAMA - Material for reduction in noise pollution by Mr. J.B. Sen Gupta,Scientist EI,Rigid
Pavement Division,CRRI, New Delhi 20.
Porous Asphalt Pavements,NAPA publication.
Highway Engineering by S.K.Khanna and C.E.G.Justo
Storm-water Porous Asphalt with recharge beds:20 years & still working by Michele C.
Asphalt-A sustainable pavement ,article ,Asphalt Pavement Alliance.