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TERI Database

Research Idea Details




Improving Dissolved Pollutant Removal in Permeable Friction Courses

Focus Area

Water Quality/Wetlands




Under $99,000


Under 1 year

Research Idea Scope

Task 1 - Literature Review and Background The main goal of the literature review is to identify materials that reduce the concentrations of bacteria, nutrient, and dissolved metals in runoff. The review will include a comprehensive analysis of published reports in peer-reviewed technical journals to determine whether the materials previous research suggests they can remove the targeted constituents in highway runoff. Examples of these materials include metal oxides (dissolved metals and phosphorus removal) and titanium dioxide (a catalyst for reducing bacteria as well as ozone concentrations). Task 2 - Future Research A research plan will be developed describing a laboratory prototype testing program. The research plan shall be developed to thoroughly investigate how to incorporate additives to PFC as both a stormwater quantity control and a water quality control best management practice that will be developed for further implementation by DOTs.

Urgency and Payoff

Many DOTs are being required to retrofit existing highways to comply with Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) to improve the quality of runoff discharged from highways. This type of retrofit is a particular challenge given the limited ROW available in urban areas. Recent research sponsored by Caltrans, TxDOT, and NCDOT has documented substantially better runoff water quality from highways paved with Permeable Friction Course (PFC) and Open Graded Friction Course (OGFC), with up to a 90% reduction of the solids discharged in runoff. By incorporating stormwater treatment within the pavement itself, a number of difficulties related to highway retrofit can be overcome. No additional ROW is required for installation. No special maintenance is needed for the pavement to reduce pollutants over its structural life and many states already have standard specifications for PFC (or OGFC) and use it widely without recognition of its environmental benefit. Consequently, PFC is one truly highway specific BMP. The processes that improve the quality of runoff within PFC appear to be primarily sedimentation and filtration. These are processes that remove sediment and the associated pollutants that adhere to particulate matter. The problem with retrofitting highways with PFC to address many TMDL requirements is that the constituents of concern are frequently dissolved. The three most common causes of impairment are pathogens, metals, and nutrients, accounting for about 27,000 listings. All three of these are difficult to remove in conventional BMPs, and metals and nutrients have a substantial dissolved phase, which makes treatment even more difficult. Consequently, what is needed now is research on additives to PFC to improve its pollutant removal for these problem constituents. Researchers have already demonstrated that addition of granular activated carbon to PFC reduces the concentration of total organic carbon in runoff. We also know already that there are a number of candidate materials that successfully remove bacteria, nutrients, and dissolved metals. For instance, iron oxides have demonstrated substantial removal of both dissolved metals and dissolved phosphorus. There are also a variety of commercial antimicrobial coatings available. The benefits resulting from this research include: • Provide treatment within the pavement itself for the primary causes of receiving water impairment • Improving the removal of dissolved constituents in stormwater runoff • Eliminating the need for large, conventional BMPs that require additional ROW

Suggested By

Scott Taylor AFB 65 Stormwater 7606036242

Posting Date

May 3, 2017

New - items posted in the last 7 days (30 days for TERI)

AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials)
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