Assessing the potential for restoration of surface permeability for permeable pavements through maintenance
Permeable pavements (PPs) have been in use as stormwater management systems in Canada and the United States for over 20 years. After years of exposure to sediment and debris build-up, surface clogging reduces the infiltration of stormwater and inhibits the hydraulic and environmental functions of the pavement. Removal of surface material has been shown to restore infiltration but the majority of studies have been limited to small-scale testing. This paper presents the results of small- and full-sized equipment testing aimed at restoring surface permeability, including the first testing of regenerative-air and vacuum-sweeping streetsweepers in Ontario. Maintenance achieved partial restoration of PP surface permeability. Post-treatment surface infiltration rates displayed large spatial variability, highlighting that localized conditions throughout the pavement have a confounding influence on the overall effectiveness of maintenance. The impact of maintenance may be improved by establishing regular cleaning intervals and developing instructional guidelines for pavement owners and equipment operators.