Pollution profiling and particle size distribution within permeable paving units – with and without a geotextile

Jennifer Mullaney, Päivi Rikalainen, Chris Jefferies

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    12 Citations (Scopus)
    154 Downloads (Pure)


    The aim of this paper is to investigate the sediment and pollution profiling and particle size distribution with depth within permeable paving structures, both with and without a geotextile. Test rigs set up in an earlier pilot study were used for four separate but linked studies. Street dust was applied to rigs C and D to determine the retention of sediments. Heavy metals together with street dust were applied to rig A and B (previously control rigs) to determine the effect of sediment on the pollution removal capabilities of the test rigs. Following the application of sediment, rigs A and B were carefully taken apart to determine pollution profiles and particle size distributions. The findings reveal that sediment does have an effect on the metal removal capabilities of permeable paving systems, but there was minimal difference between the rigs with a geotextile and without. Pollution profiling within the test rigs identified that the greatest concentration of metals was in the surface sediment and that both rigs removed similar percentages but the concentrations of metals were distributed differently. It was also found that after between 10 and 15 years of sediment application paving rigs began to “block” causing reduced infiltration rates. Unfortunately it is difficult to explain the variations of particle size distributions found with depth in the paving structure. It had been expected to find progressively higher proportions of finer material with depth. However, the reverse was true, with a higher proportion of fines in the sediment applied to the surface and a progressive increase in the proportion of coarse material with depth The conclusions confirm the effects of sediment within a permeable paving structure and indicate the loading at which the infiltration rates become affected. These results may help to determine a maintenance programme, however this would require further research. The paper provides a comparative study on pollution and sediment profiling within a permeable paving structure both with and without the inclusion of an upper geotextile. It provides valuable insight into the amount of sediment on paving before it becomes blocked. The methodology and results reported in this research could be used for further studies to provide more evidence as to whether the inclusion of an upper geotextile is beneficial.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)150-162
    Number of pages13
    JournalManagement of Environmental Quality: An International Journal
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Pollution
    • Sedimentation
    • Paved areas
    • Permeability
    • Mechanical properties of materials
    • Permeable paving SUDS
    • Geotextile
    • Pollutant removal
    • Car parks
    • Clogging
    • Pollution profiling
    • Particle size distribution


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