State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2012DC141B
Title: Development of Porous Driveway System for Districts Residential Lots
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2012
End Date: 2/28/2013
Congressional District: DC
Focus Categories: Education, Non Point Pollution, Hydrology
Keywords: Low Impact Development, Porous pavement, Urban Runoff
Principal Investigators: Bhambri, Inder J.; Behera, Pradeep K.
Federal Funds: $ 10,900
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 5,014
Abstract: Urban storm water runoff contributes to a number of water quantity and quality problems of many receiving waters (i.e., rivers, streams and lakes). The impervious surface from urban development (roads, buildings, driveways, and rooftops) increases runoff volume and higher runoff rate resulting in flooding, erosion and pollution from the urban anthropogenic activities that contributes to water quality problems. Therefore, storm water reduction is very important issue in many urban areas in the United States. This is more emphasized for many older metropolitan areas such as the District of Columbia which are serviced by combined sewer system in addition to separate storm and sanitary sewer systems. For example, the impact of the urban storm water discharges from highly urbanized areas has been more pronounced on the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem [1-3]. Anacostia River has been recognized as one of the most polluted water bodies in the nation mainly due to the combined storm water and municipal wastewater discharged to it during peak runoff [4].

To address storm water pollutions several best management practices including detention basins, rain barrels, green roof, bio-retention ponds have been proposed and implemented throughout the watersheds. These are cost effective and sustainable ways to reduce the storm water and to remove the associated pollutions. However, due to high cost of land in dense urban areas such as the District of Columbia it is highly desirable to minimize the land occupied by retention ponds and other such facilities by optimizing their performance. The residential areas of the district very valuable and converting a fraction of residential lot occupied by impervious driveways to a porous driveway could help reduce the runoff volume and delay the peak flow. Such system could also help District in reducing the number of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) and stormwater discharges into its receiving waters (Potomac, Anacostia Rivers and Rock Creek). The goal of the proposed research is to develop a conceptual framework to 1) develop a porous driveway pavement systems which can be easily implemented into residential lots, 2) assess quantity of runoff infiltrated into the driveway soil sub-grade thus reducing the overflows from residential lots.

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