Pervious Concrete Filters for Sustainable Water Resource Management

EPA Grant Number: SU835727
Title: Pervious Concrete Filters for Sustainable Water Resource Management
Investigators: Kulkarni, Tara
Current Investigators: Kulkarni, Tara , Arsenault, Alex , Judd, Andrew , Nelson, Douglas , Schmeckpeper, Edwin , Ells, Elizabeth , Keasbey, Jacob , Drew, Jennifer , Bateman, Patrick , Limberg, Susan
Institution: Norwich University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Phase: I
Project Period: August 15, 2014 through August 14, 2015
Project Amount: $14,957
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2014) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Sustainable and Healthy Communities , P3 Challenge Area - Safe and Sustainable Water Resources , P3 Awards , Sustainable and Healthy Communities


The technical challenge of our proposal is to re-design pervious concrete; a common component of Low Impact Development (LID) infrastructure, to harvest and filter storm water runoff contaminated by organics, nutrients, and metals and convert it to meet drinking water quality standards. We will conduct a pilot study implementing the design at a small test site on the college campus, with an ultimate goal of using the tested design in an underdeveloped region of the world. The proposed project will be also used to increase student awareness on water conservation and pollution prevention to minimize resources spent in treatment of water supplies, both on campus as well as in the local community.


The filter design will involve 2 major components: 1) Determining the composition of the filter materials, such as activated carbon, or silica gel that will treat the contaminated water passing through the pervious concrete to drinking water quality. 2) Designing a system to integrate the filtration component into the pervious concrete (we envision a design with structurally stable hollow pervious concrete blocks or columns, into which we can insert cartridges fitted with tested filtration media). The latter will make the maintenance of the system and reuse of the filter media possible and convenient. Our goal is to use common and inexpensive filter media to make this an affordable decentralized water treatment technology that can be incorporated within green infrastructure projects worldwide.

Expected Results:

The expected outputs of the project will include: 1) pervious concrete filter design and prototype 2) a pilot study in a small area on campus 3) a report (and website) documenting the design steps, design drawings, storm water runoff (diverted) calculations, water quality calculations, and the results of the various components of the study. The expected outcomes of the project will include: 1) Improved storm water management on campus 2) A decentralized water treatment system that is part of a LID infrastructure component. 3) Educating the community about water sustainability.

Calculations for the pre and post runoff in the area paved with the pervious concrete filters will be performed with each storm, post installation. Similar results will also be tracked for all water quality analyses performed during each major rainfall event after the system is installed. All progress will be documented and reported through publications and on the project website.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 3 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

green infrastructure, low cost filtration, sustainable water resources, and environmental sustainability

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report