Performance of a porous pavement system on the Maine Mall Road in South Portland.
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Performance of a porous pavement system on the Maine Mall Road in South Portland.

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      Porous pavements have been successfully used by developers since the mid-70’s as a means to make traditional impervious facilities, such as parking lots, handle storm water in a more environmentally friendly way. Traditional pavement materials used in these facilities can create storm water run off problems such as erosion of adjacent surfaces and poor water quality of downstream watersheds. Porous pavement actually allows storm water to seep into the subsurface, typically a stone reservoir and sand filter, and dissipate into the underlying substrate. Porous pavement systems provide an effective surface for vehicle traffic while also providing storm water management that improves water quality. Some studies have shown that these systems have a high removal rate of total suspended solids, metals, oils and grease, and other harmful contaminants. Other benefits are a “cooling” effect of the storm water and a reduction in demand on the storm sewers. The surface can consist of either an asphalt pavement or concrete pavement material that meets the public expectations for smoothness while allowing excellent drainage into the underlying collection system.
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