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Comparative Field Permeability Measurement of Permeable Pavements Using ASTM C1701 and NCAT Permeameter Methods

UCD-ITS-RP-13-63

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UC Pavement Research Center

Suggested Citation:
Li, Hui, Masoud Kayhanian, John T. Harvey (2013) Comparative Field Permeability Measurement of Permeable Pavements Using ASTM C1701 and NCAT Permeameter Methods. Journal of Environmental Management 118, 144 - 152

Fully permeable pavement is gradually gaining support as an alternative best management practice (BMP) for stormwater runoff management. As the use of these pavements increases, a definitive test method is needed to measure hydraulic performance and to evaluate clogging, both for performance studies and for assessment of permeability for construction quality assurance and maintenance needs assessment. Two of the most commonly used permeability measurement tests for porous asphalt and pervious concrete are the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) permeameter and ASTM C1701, respectively. This study was undertaken to compare measured values for both methods in the field on a variety of permeable pavements used in current practice. The field measurements were performed using six experimental section designs with different permeable pavement surface types including pervious concrete, porous asphalt and permeable interlocking concrete pavers. Multiple measurements were performed at five locations on each pavement test section. The results showed that: (i) silicone gel is a superior sealing material to prevent water leakage compared with conventional plumbing putty; (ii) both methods (NCAT and ASTM) can effectively be used to measure the permeability of all pavement types and the surface material type will not impact the measurement precision; (iii) the permeability values measured with the ASTM method were 50–90% (75% on average) lower than those measured with the NCAT method; (iv) the larger permeameter cylinder diameter used in the ASTM method improved the reliability and reduced the variability of the measured permeability.

Keywords: Permeability; Porous asphalt; Pervious concrete; Permeable interlocking paver; ASTM C1701; NCAT permeameter