Cementitious porous pavement in stormwater quality control: pH and alkalinity elevation

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

A certain level of alkalinity acts as a buffer and maintains the pH value in a stable range in water bodies. With rapid urban development, more and more acidic pollutants flow to watersheds with runoff and drop alkalinity to a very low level and ultimately degrade the water environment. Cementitious porous pavement is an effective tool for stormwater acidic neutralization. When stormwater infiltrates cement porous pavement (CPP) materials, alkalinity and pH will be elevated due to the basic characteristics of cement concrete. The elevated alkalinity will neutralize acids in water bodies and maintain the pH in a stable level as a buffer. It is expected that CPP materials still have a certain capability of alkalinity elevation after years of service, which is important for CPP as an effective tool for stormwater management. However, few previous studies have reported on how CPP structures would elevate runoff alkalinity and pH after being exposed to rainfall-runoff for years. In this study, three groups of CPP specimens, all exposed to rainfall-runoff for 3 years, were used to test the pH and alkalinity elevation properties. It was found that runoff pH values were elevated from 7.4 to the range of 7.8–8.6 after infiltrating through the uncoated specimens, and from 7.4 to 8.5–10.7 after infiltrating through aluminum-coated specimens. Runoff alkalinity elevation efficiencies are 11.5–14.5% for uncoated specimens and 42.2% for coated specimens. The study shows that CPP is an effective passive unit operation for stormwater acid neutralization in our built environment.

Keywords: alkalinity, cementitious porous pavement, pH, runoff, stormwater, water environment

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