The Impact of Glyphosate-Containing Herbicides on the Biological properties of Permeable Pavements

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

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This presentation reports on research into the impact of commonly used herbicides on the biology of Permeable Pavement Systems (PPS). Glyphosate Containing Herbicides (GCH)
are routinely applied to urban and suburban hard surfaces for weed control, including areas with PPS.

As PPS are a key element in the SUDS design toolbox, the simulation of GCH addition to PPS in a laboratory environment, was intended to gain information on the possible environmental impact, of routine weed control. An effective level of retention and
bioremediation of minerals oils and the retention of heavy metals have been shown to occur in PPS over many years, but the effect of GCH on PPS microbiology is largely unknown and
is the focus of this presentation.

Biologically, the PPS microbiological community was shown to be capable of rapidly degrading the herbicide, as demonstrated by respirometer measurements. However, indicator organisms that are sensitive to pollution (protists) were increased in abundance but showed a decrease in biodiversity relative to PPS with oil added alone.

Research continues into possible modifications of PPS that could improve the bioremediation of GCH. The development of a bioindicator system for herbicide pollution in SUDS may be
possible following the highly specific response of protists to GCH pollution.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2012
EventSUDSnet conference: Multiple Benefits from Surface Water Management - Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Sept 20126 Sept 2012


ConferenceSUDSnet conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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