Stormwater quality benefits of a permeable friction course on a curbed section



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This paper presents the results of an experimental study aimed at determining the impact of porous asphalt on the quality of stormwater runoff on highways with a curb and gutter drainage system. A porous overlay, also known as permeable friction course (PFC), is a layer of porous asphalt applied to the top of conventional asphalt highways at a thickness of 50 mm to improve safety and water quality and reduce noise. The quality of highway stormwater runoff was monitored before and after the installation of PFC on an eight-lane divided highway in the Austin, Texas area for 15 months. Observed concentrations of total suspended solids from PFC are more than an 80% lower than from the conventional pavement. Concentration reductions are also observed for nitrate/nitrite and total amounts of phosphorus, copper, lead, and zinc. The data shows that the results with curb and gutter are consistent with past results where runoff sheet flowed onto vegetated shoulders.