Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


EPA's new green parking lot allows scientists to study permeable surfaces that may help the environment

Paved parking lots and driveways make our lives easier, but they often create an easy pathway for pollutants to reach underground water sources and alter the natural flow of water back into the ground.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a study that will investigate ways to reduce pollution that can run off paved surfaces and improve how water filters back into the ground.

EPA is testing a variety of different permeable pavement materials and rain gardens in the parking lot at the agency's Edison, N.J. facility, which houses offices and its laboratory. Most major sources of pollution going into our waterways are well-controlled, but pollution runoff from hard surfaces remains a complicated problem.

"Runoff from parking lots and driveways is a significant source of water pollution in the United States and puts undo stress on our water infrastructure, especially in densely-populated urban areas," said EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou. "By evaluating different designs and materials, this study will help us develop strategies to lessen the environmental impacts of parking lots across the country and make our communities more sustainable."

This summer, EPA replaced a 43,000-square-foot section of the parking lot at its Edison facility with three different types of permeable pavement and planted several rain gardens with varying vegetation for the study. Over the next decade, EPA will evaluate the effectiveness of each pavement type and the rain gardens in removing pollutants from stormwater, and how they help water filter back into the ground. The parking lot will be functional during the study to accurately evaluate how the different types of pavement handle traffic and vehicle-related pollution like leaking oil.

Stormwater runoff is generated when precipitation from rain and snow flows over land or impervious surfaces, like parking lots or rooftops, and does not readily flow back into the ground. As the runoff flows over the land or impervious surfaces, it accumulates debris, chemicals, sediment or other pollutants that could adversely affect water quality if the runoff discharged is not properly treated.

This study is part of an effort by EPA's National Risk Management Research Laboratory to evaluate permeable pavement as it relates to stormwater management practices on a national scale. While the installation of permeable pavement systems has become more prevalent, there is a lack of full-scale, outdoor, real-world permeable pavement research projects.

EPA also recognizes the potential of rain gardens as a green infrastructure management tool to lessen the effects of peak flows on aquatic resources. While local governments and homeowners are building many of these systems, relatively few studies have quantified the ability of rain gardens to allow the ground to better absorb and filter stormwater, which reduces peak flows.

John Senn | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Steering a fusion plasma toward stability

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Bioluminescent sensor causes brain cells to glow in the dark

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Activation of 2 genes linked to development of atherosclerosis

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>