Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011NJ275B

Evaluation of organoclay in a permeable pavement system for removal of contaminants from urban stormwater runoff

Institute: New Jersey
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-03-01 End Date: 2012-08-31
Total Federal Funds: $15,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $30,002

Principal Investigators: Amy Rowe

Abstract: Permeable pavement is a system that allows rainwater and runoff to move through the pavement’s porous surface to a storage layer below. These systems are ideal for parking lots, driveways, alleys, sidewalks, and playgrounds. It has been shown by decades of scientific research that permeable pavements reduce runoff volumes. Research has also shown that stormwater that flows through the layers of a permeable pavement system is filtered as it progresses, improving the water quality of the runoff. While it has been well-documented that these systems can remove solids from runoff with great efficiency, the removal of other contaminants such as heavy metals, hydrocarbons, and nutrients has been less successful. Organoclays are a class of manufactured clay soils that have been modified with a surfactant. These treated soils adsorb particularly well to oils and a range of metals and have been used in a number of applications including: landfill sites, groundwater remediation, and Superfund site cleanups. This study will examine the performance of organoclays in the storage layers of a permeable pavement system with regard to the removal of hydrocarbons and metals from urban stormwater runoff. It is expected that the addition of organoclays to the system will increase the removal efficiency of these obstinate contaminants, which may allow for the beneficial reuse of the collected exfiltrate.