State of a sustainable drainage system at end-of-life: assessment of potential water pollution by leached metals from recycled pervious pavement materials when used as secondary aggregate

Fredrick Mbanaso, Sue Charlesworth, Steve Coupe, Alan Newman, Ernest Okwudiri Nnadi

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    6 Citations (Scopus)
    103 Downloads (Pure)


    Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) have emerged as an effective and attractive approach for stormwater management, prevention of water pollution and flood control due to its sustainable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective approaches. One of the SuDS devices widely used to infiltrate, store and treat surface runoff which allows it to recharge groundwater is the pervious paving systems (PPS). Previous studies have demonstrated relatively high pollution removal efficiencies typically ranging from 98.7% for total hydrocarbons to 89% of COD. Although a small number of the studies have assessed the performance characteristics of the PPS system in long-established installations in terms of retention of pollutants, hydrological features, biodegradation of pollutants etc., none has assessed the risk of potential groundwater and soil pollution by pollutants such as metals retained in the PPS materials either as a disposed waste material (in the case of used geotextiles) or during re-use as secondary aggregates. Thus, this study evaluated potential risks associated with the decommissioning and beneficial use of wastes produced during the disassembly of a PPS. The authors believe that this was the first PPS to be addressed in this way. The method involved the determination of leachable concentrations of 14 metals in the PPS samples made up of extracts from the model profile which included the geotextile fibre (G), dust alone (D), aggregates and dust (AD), aggregates alone (AA) and pavement blocks (P) which were analysed and compared with two different groups of regulatory threshold limits. The results showed that the measured concentrations of all the metals were below the appropriate threshold values for irrigation purposes as specified by FAO and USEPA. Furthermore, results all indicated that the dismantled materials were all below EU LFD WAC limits for inert waste, indicating relative ease of disposal and suitability for use as recycled aggregate. This, admittedly limited data, indicates that recycling of aggregates from demolition wastes arising from end of life PPS would not be limited by the potential leaching of heavy metals, including re-use within another PPS. This would minimise dependence on virgin aggregates and hence reduce rate of exploitation of natural resources and improve sustainability score card of SuDS.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4630–4639
    Number of pages10
    JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
    Issue number5
    Early online date17 Oct 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

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    The sponsorship for this study was provided by the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) while Coventry University provided the funding.


    • Aggregates recycling
    • Leaching
    • Metals
    • Pervious pavement system
    • Sustainable drainage system
    • Waste control management
    • Water pollution

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Chemistry
    • Pollution
    • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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