Evaluation of a new experimental test procedure to more accurately determine the surface infiltration rate of permeable pavement systems

Permeable pavements are specifically designed to promote the infiltration of stormwater through the paving surface in order to reduce run-off volumes and to improve water quality by removing sediment and other pollutants. However, research has shown that permeable pavements can become clogged over time and this reduces their infiltration capacity. In order to assess the infiltration of permeable pavements, a variety of infiltration test procedures have been utilised in the past. However, the results have generally been inconsistent, and have shown a large variation in the range of infiltration rates measured. This paper evaluates the performance of two new experimental test methods developed in the Netherlands to more accurately determine the surface infiltration rate of existing permeable pavement installations. The two methods were the falling head full-scale method and the constant head full-scale method. Both of the new methods involved inundating a large area of the pavement in order to determine the infiltration rate through the pavement surface. Double ring infiltrometer tests were also performed to enable a comparison of the results. The study found that the new falling head full-scale testing method produced the most accurate results.